Recent studies have detected simian virus 40 (SV40) DNA in certain human tumors and normal tissues. The significance of human infections by SV40, which was first discovered as a contaminant of poliovirus vaccines used between 1955 and 1963, remains unknown. The occurrence of SV40 infections in unselected hospitalized children was evaluated. Polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequence analyses were done on archival tissue specimens from patients positive for SV40 neutralizing antibody. SV40 DNA was identified in samples from 4 of 20 children (1 Wilms' tumor, 3 transplanted kidney samples). Sequence variation among SV40 regulatory regions ruled out laboratory contamination of specimens. This study shows the presence of SV40 infections in pediatric patients born after 1982.