This investigation employed a viral screening method detect endogenous bovine virus contaminants in commercially supplied fetal bovine serum. Fifty-one lots of fetal bovine serum from 14 suppliers were examined. Over 30% of the lots tested were found to contain bovine viruses; they included bovine virus diarrhea virus, parainfluenza type3-like virus, bovine herpesvirus-1, bovine enterovirus type 4, and an unidentified cytopathogenic agent. Of the 51 lots, 20 had been pretested by the suppliers and were considered to be free of known viral contaminants. Our viral screening methods revealed that five of these pretested lots, or 25%, contained endogenous bovine viruses.