In order to find antiviral substances from basidiomycetes, two water soluble substances, GLhw and GLlw, and eight methanol soluble substances, GLMe-1-8, were prepared from carpophores of Ganoderma lucidum. These substances were examined for their activities against five strains of pathogenic viruses such as herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2), influenza A virus (Flu A) and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) Indiana and New Jersey strains in vitro. Antiviral activities were evaluated by the cytopathic effect (CPE) inhibition assay and plaque reduction assay. Five substances, GLhw, GLMe-1, -2, -4 and -7 significantly inhibited the cytopathic effects of HSV and VSV. In the plaque reduction assay, GLhw inhibited plaque formation of HSV-2 with 50% effective concentrations (EC50) of 590 and 580 microg/ml in Vero and HEp-2 cells, and its selectivity indices (SI) were 13.32 and 16.26. GLMe-4 did not exhibit cytotoxicity up to 1000 microg/ml, while it exhibited potent antiviral activity on the VSV New Jersey strain with an SI of more than 5.43. These results indicate the possibility of development of antiviral agents from basidiomycetous fungi.