Malignant rabbit fibroma virus (MV) causes a syndrome that consists of disseminated malignant tumors and immunosuppression complicated by severe Pasteurella multocida infection and death. Tissues from rabbits given MV and rabbit myxoma virus were examined by direct immunofluorescence with the use of antibody against virus antigens. Primary and metastatic tumors caused by MV and rabbit myxoma virus were composed of soft tissue cells containing virus antigens. Skin appendages and epidermis overlying the respective tumors showed scant MV but abundant myxoma virus antigen. Both viruses were present systemically in the reticuloendothelial system. Epithelial cells from the liver, kidney, and lung of myxoma virus-infected rabbits contained virus, whereas in MV tumor-bearing rabbits, these cells were uninvolved. However, nasal mucosal and conjunctival epithelia, the locations of Pasteurella infection, showed squamous metaplasia and contained large amounts of MV and myxoma antigens. By analogy to other respiratory tract pathogens, these epithelial changes were probably etiologically significant for development of pasteurellosis in rabbits bearing virus-induced tumors. Thus by immunopathologic as well as clinical examination, MV produces a syndrome distinct from that seen with rabbit myxoma virus. MV induced severe immunosuppression despite T-lymphocyte hyperplasia in the lymphoid tissues observed. The combination of a systemic virus infection, epithelial alterations that impaired clearance mechanisms, and immunologic dysfunction is likely to contribute to the inability of rabbits given MV to survive their gram-negative infection.