To determine whether heparan sulphate residues on the cellular surface could serve as an attachment receptor for pseudorabies virus (PRV), the effect of heparin on PRV in plaque reduction and adsorption tests was investigated. PRV was significantly less sensitive to heparin than was herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). At concentrations of 500 micrograms/ml heparin the number of plaques formed by PRV was reduced to 7% of the untreated control whereas the number of plaques formed by HSV-1 was reduced to below 0.1%. Adsorption of PRV to host cells was also less sensitive to heparin treatment than was adsorption of HSV-1. Experiments concerning the binding sites of PRV showed that heparin binds to the disulphide-linked glycoprotein complex gII (PRV gB), gIII (PRV gC) and probably gV.