Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) belongs together with Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) and Border disease virus (BDV) to the genus Pestivirus in the Flaviviridae family. BVDV has been subdivided into two different species, BVDV1 and BVDV2 based on phylogenetic analysis. Subsequent characterization of both strains revealed major antigenic differences. Because the envelope glycoprotein E2 is the most immunodominant protein for all pestiviruses, the present study focused on epitope mapping by constructing chimeric BVDV type 1 and 2 E2 genes in expression plasmids. These plasmids with chimeric E2-genes were transfected in SK6 cells and transient expression was studied by immunostaining with a panel of MAbs specific for E2 of BVDV1 or BVDV2, resulting in the localization of type-specific antigenic domains at similar regions. These results indicate that E2 glycoproteins of both BVDV types exhibit a comparable antigenic structure, but with type specific epitopes. In addition, the antigenic resemblance with envelope glycoprotein E2 of Classical swine fever virus is discussed.