To develop a vaccine against cytomegalovirus (CMV), a canarypox virus (ALVAC) expressing CMV glycoprotein (gB) was evaluated alone or in combination with a live, attenuated CMV vaccine (Towne). Three doses of 106.5 TCID50 of ALVAC-CMV(gB) induced very low neutralizing or ELISA antibodies in most seronegative adults. However, to determine whether ALVAC-CMV(gB) could prime for antibody responses, 20 seronegative adults randomly received either 106.8 TCID50 of ALVAC-CMV(gB) or 106.8 TCID50 of ALVAC-RG, expressing the rabies glycoprotein, administered at 0 and 1 month, with all subjects receiving a dose of 103.5 pfu of the Towne vaccine at 90 days. For subjects primed with ALVAC-CMV(gB), neutralizing titers and ELISA antibodies to CMV(gB) developed sooner, were much higher, and persisted longer than for subjects primed with ALVAC-RG. All vaccines were well tolerated. These results demonstrate that ALVAC-CMV(gB) primes the immune system and suggest a combined-vaccine strategy to induce potentially protective levels of neutralizing antibodies.