We have efficiently generated mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), which bind specifically to amino acids 21-47 of the preS1 domain of hepatitis B virus (HBV) by immunizing mice with the preS1 peptide (amino acids, aa 1-56) conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin. Hybridomas were screened by an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using the purified preS1 peptide as a coated antigen. Eighteen positive hybridomas were selected and subjected to isotyping. Of these, 5 clones secreted immunoglobulin G (IgG) and 13 clones secreted IgM. Four (KR1, KR2, KR3, and KR4) of the 5 IgG MAbs bound to preS1 peptide (aa 21-47). Epitope mapping using bacterially expressed GST fusion proteins revealed that three clones (KR2, KR3, KR4) (IgG1, K) recognize aa 21-35, while KR1 (IgG2a, K) recognizes aa 35-47 of the preS1. These MAbs immunoprecipitated HBV particles, demonstrating that they bind to native HBV particles.