The destructive effect of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strains on Burkitt lymphoma Daudi cells was investigated. Interaction of an active and UV-inactivated mesogenic strain (Roakin), as well as an active attenuated lentogenic strain (B1), grown in the allantoic sac of embryonated eggs, at high multiplicity, caused inhibition in cellular DNA synthesis and arrest in cell multiplication, eventually killing of the cells. The lentogenic strain cultivated in chicken fibroblasts exhibited only a moderate activity. The mechanism of the cytolytic effect is presumably linked to the increase in cell membrane permeability indicated by the elevation in 51Cr release. Thus it appears that the massive adsorption and/or penetration of viral particles, active or UV-inactivated (or possibly a toxic component that resides in the virion), damages the plasma membrane and may be responsible for the killing of the cells.