Gnotobiotic calves were injected intravenously with murine monoclonal antibodies (mAb) directed against the BoCD4, BoCD8 or BoWC1 antigens that define the three major T-lymphocyte subpopulations in cattle. This produced a transient, specific depletion of each cell type in the circulation. Calves were then infected intranasally with a non-cytopathogenic biotype of bovine virus diarrhoea virus and the effect of the specific depletion with the mAb on viraemia and shedding of virus from the nasopharynx determined. Depletion of the cells expressing the BoCD4 antigen resulted in an extension of the duration of viraemia and an increase in the titre of virus in blood. No effect on nasopharyngeal shedding was noted. Depletion of either of the other two T-cell subsets that expressed the BoCD8 antigen or the BoWC1 antigen present on the gamma/delta T-cells had no demonstrable effect. These findings are interpreted as showing that the BoCD4+ cells play a pivotal role in controlling a primary infection with this virus but MHC class I restricted BoCD8+ T-cells are not a major effector mechanism. The BoCD4+ cells may be acting directly or be mediators of T-cell help.