In order to develop a simple and quantitative method to detect herpes simplex virus (HSV) type-specific antibodies, the usefulness of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using HSV glycoprotein G (gG) captured on a plate by monoclonal antibodies as antigen was studied. The gG1- and gG2-specific IgG antibody activities were measured by the ELISA for 54 sera which had been collected from culture-proven genital herpes patients and pre-characterized by an immunodot assay using purified gG antigens. Thirty control sera without antibodies against the HSV whole antigens were also included. In comparison with the immunodot assay as standard, the sensitivities of the ELISA were 88.9% (32/36) for HSV-1 antibody and 89.2% (33/37) for HSV-2 antibody and the specificities were both 100%. Sera taken within a few months after primary infection tended to give false negative results. The HSV type-specific ELISA based on easy-to-prepare gG antigens might be useful to help improve the serological assessment of HSV infections.