Reovirus serotype 1, strain Lang (T1/L), a well characterized enteric virus, elicits humoral and cellular immune responses in mice. Although orally and intradermally induced infections generate comparable reovirus-specific serum antibody titers, little is known about the effects of the route of infection on the systemic immunoglobulin G (IgG) response. To assess whether the route of exposure affects virus-specific humoral immunity, we infected various strains of mice with reovirus T1/L by the oral or intradermal routes. At day 10 following infection, virus-specific serum antibody titers and IgG subclasses were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum IgG2a and IgG2b antibodies were detected in all mouse strains independent of the route of infection. Mice of the H-2d haplotype that received an intradermal infection also had high levels of reovirus-specific serum IgG1. This dichotomy of responses was not associated with differences in the types of cytokine produced by draining peripheral lymph nodes. However, peripheral lymph node lymphocytes from C3H mice produced significantly higher levels of gamma interferon than did BALB/c, C57BL/6, and B10.D2 mice. Additionally, peripheral lymph node lymphocytes from all strains of mice produced only low levels of interleukin-5, with no detectable level of interleukin-4 or interleukin-6. Analysis of specific antibody at inductive sites of the immune response showed that orally infected Peyer's patches produced predominantly IgA and intradermally infected peripheral lymph nodes produced predominantly IgG2a. Western blot (immunoblot) analysis showed that virus-specific IgA, IgG1, and IgG2a reacted with reovirus structural proteins. These data suggest that the route of infection affects the isotype and IgG subclasses, but not the antigen specificity, of the local antibody response. In addition, virus-specific IgG1 generated following an intradermally induced infection is linked to the H-2d major histocompatibility complex haplotype.