We reported previously on the complete sequence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) genotype 4, isolated from patients with sporadic cases of acute HEV infection in China. At least eight HEV genotypes have now been described worldwide, and further isolates await classification. Current immunoassays for the detection of anti-HEV antibodies are based on polypeptides from genotypes 1 and 2 only and may be inadequate for the reliable detection of other genotypes. Because genotypes 1 and 4 predominate in China, we wished to investigate the antigenic reactivities of HEV genotype 4 proteins. Four overlapping regions of open reading frame 2 (ORF2) (FB5, amino acids [aa] 1 to 130; E4, aa 67 to 308; F2-2, aa 288 to 461; E5, aa 414 to 672) and the entire ORF3 product were expressed in Escherichia coli as fusion proteins. Enzyme immunoassays based on each of the five purified polypeptides were evaluated with sera from patients with sporadic cases of acute HEV infection. Individual immunoassays derived from HEV genotype 4 detected more cases of acute hepatitis E than a commercial assay. Some serum samples, which were positive for anti-HEV immunoglobulin G only by assays based on HEV genotype 4, were positive for HEV RNA by reverse transcription-PCR. Polypeptide FB5, from the N terminus of ORF2, had the greatest immunoreactivity with sera from patients with acute hepatitis E. These data indicate that the N terminus of ORF2 may provide epitopes which are highly reactive with acute-phase sera and that assays based on genotypes 1 and 2 alone may be inadequate for the detection of HEV infection in China, where sporadic cases of HEV infection are caused predominantly by HEV genotypes 4 and 1.