Immunoglobulin M antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (MAC-ELISA) is a rapid and versatile diagnostic method that readily permits the combination of multiple assays. Test consolidation is especially important for arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) which belong to at least three virus families: the Togaviridae, Flaviviridae, and Bunyaviridae. Using prototype viruses from each of these families and a panel of well-characterized human sera, we have evaluated and standardized a combined MAC-ELISA capable of identifying virus infections caused by members of each virus family. Furthermore, by grouping antigens geographically and utilizing known serological cross-reactivities, we have reduced the number of antigens necessary for testing, while maintaining adequate detection sensitivity. We have determined that a 1:400 serum dilution is most appropriate for screening antiviral antibody, using a positive-to-negative ratio of >/=2.0 as a positive cutoff value. With a blind-coded human serum panel, this combined MAC-ELISA was shown to have test sensitivity and specificity that correlated well with those of other serological techniques.