A phase I randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was done with a cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine based on the envelope glycoprotein, gB, combined with a novel adjuvant, MF59. Participants received CMV gB vaccine with MF59 or CMV gB with alum or placebo at 0, 1, and 6 months. A fourth vaccine was given at 12 months to a subgroup. Levels of neutralizing antibody and antibody to gB 2 weeks after the third dose of vaccine exceeded those in seropositive control subjects. the formulation with MF59 was more immunogenic than that with alum. The optimal dose of gB appeared to be between 5 and 30 microg. The fourth dose produced a prompt rise in antibody level. There were no serious adverse events associated with vaccine. Local and systemic reactions were generally mild and, except for pain at the injection site, occurred with similar frequency in recipients of placebo and CMV vaccine.