Studies were undertaken to investigate the antiviral effects of comestible juices, especially cranberry juice, on non-related viral species. After exposure of bacteriophage T2 to a commercially available cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) juice cocktail (CJ), virus infectivity titer was no longer detectible. After a 60-min exposure to orange (OJ) and grapefruit juices (GJ), phage infectivity was reduced to 25-35% of control, respectively. Similar data were observed for the bacteriophage T4. CJ inactivation of phage T4 was rapid, dose-dependent, and occurred at either 4 or 23 degrees C. Neither pH nor differences in sugar/carbohydrate levels among the juices may be ascribed to the recognized antiviral effects. Further studies were performed to identify the occurrence of antiviral activity by CJ to a mammalian enteric virus. The treatment of the simian rotavirus SA-11 with a 20% CJ suspension was sufficient to inhibit hemagglutination. Under scanning and transmission electron microscopy, CJ was observed to inhibit the adsorption of phage T4 to its bacterial host cells and prevented the replication of rotavirus in its monkey kidney (MA-104) host cells, respectively. The data suggest, for the first time, a non-specific antiviral effect towards unrelated viral species (viz., bacteriophages T2 and T4 and the simian rotavirus SA-11) by a commercially available cranberry fruit juice drink.