Cryosections of nasopharyngeal tissue from 9 patients suspected of having nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) were examined for the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) markers in situ to assess virus infection in the nasopharynx. Viral DNA, EB nuclear antigen, and/or early antigens (EA.D and EA.R) were detected in 5 NPC specimens. EBV infection was not confined to the tumor areas of the biopsy specimens. Lymphoid cells and nontumor areas of these specimens contained EBV markers. In addition, nasopharyngeal tissues obtained from 3 of 4 patients in clinical remission for the disease showed evidence of EBV infection.