Enzymatic surface iodination and biosynthetic labeling with [35S]methionine, combined with immunoprecipitation by sera from patients with different forms of Leishmaniasis revealed a 65,000 Mr glycoprotein as the immunodominant moiety in promastigotes and amastigotes of the nine Leishmania species and isolates examined. Sera from patients with one form of Leishmaniasis recognized this component strongly, not only in the homologous, but also in the heterologous species. In addition to the crossreactivity displayed by immune sera, the 65,000 Mr glycoprotein (gp) common to all Leishmania species presented a characteristic shift to Mr 50,000 when samples were run in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis under nonreducing conditions. These results are in agreement with our previous studies (7), where a simple and similar profile was obtained for several geographic isolates of L. donovani, with a major surface glycoprotein of 65,000 Mr displaying the same characteristics described here. The structural similarity of the major 65,000 Mr gp of the six Leishmania species was demonstrated by Cleveland mapping. It is suggested that immunological specificities may be contributed by minor differences in glycosylation of this molecule. In keeping with recent data (13-15), where strong cross protection among different Leishmania species has been obtained by prophylactic immunization with irradiated whole promastigotes, this glycoprotein may be a good candidate for an antigen to be used for immunoprophylaxis of all forms of Leishmaniasis.