In this study, Equus caballus major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) was identified as a cellular entry receptor for the alphaherpesvirus equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1). This novel EHV-1 receptor was discovered using a cDNA library from equine macrophages. cDNAs from this EHV-1-susceptible cell type were inserted into EHV-1-resistant B78H1 murine melanoma cells, these cells were infected with an EHV-1 lacZ reporter virus, and cells that supported virus infection were identified by X-Gal (5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-beta-d-galactopyranoside) staining. Positive cells were subjected to several rounds of purification to obtain homogeneous cell populations that were shown to be uniformly infected with EHV-1. cDNAs from these cell populations were amplified by PCR and then sequenced. The sequence data revealed that the EHV-1-susceptible cells had acquired an E. caballus MHC-I cDNA. Cell surface expression of this receptor was verified by confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. The MHC-I cDNA was cloned into a mammalian expression vector, and stable B78H1 cell lines were generated that express this receptor. These cell lines were susceptible to EHV-1 infection while the parental B78H1 cells remained resistant to infection. In addition, EHV-1 infection of the B78H1 MHC-I-expressing cell lines was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by an anti-MHC-I antibody.