A truncated recombinant nucleocapsid protein (rNp118) consisting of the first 118 amino-terminal amino acids (AA) of the Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) nucleocapsid protein expressed in Escherichia coli, was evaluated for its antigenicity and reliability as serodiagnostic antigen in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for detection of PUUV antibodies in human sera. The PUUV nucleocapsid protein has been shown to contain several B-cell epitopes, mapped within the first 118 amino-terminal AA. This finding makes the rNp118 an interesting recombinant protein to use as serodiagnostic antigen. The sensitivity of this new PUUV-rNp118 ELISA, was compared with those of a commercially available PUUV ELISA assay and an home-made ELISA based on a recombinant whole nucleocapsid protein of PUUV. Eighty-six human serum samples clinically suspected for PUUV-induced nephropathia epidemica, and previously screened with the reference assays, were tested. The sensitivity of the new assay was compared with that of the reference assays and an excellent correlation between the assays was found. Sera found to be negative by other methods were also negative in our assay. The ELISA based on rNp118 represents an alternative and valid test for detection of antibodies to PUUV in human sera.