The Jijoye EBV strain is characterized by a substitution of 1.8 kb in the C-terminal part of the EBNA 2 gene compared to B95-8 or M-ABA virus. This made it possible to construct hybridization probes specific for M-ABA (type A) and Jijoye viruses (type B), which have been used to type the EBV genomes in 38 spontaneously established cell lines. Type A is more prevalent being found in 31 of 38 cases; type B virus was found in five cell lines (Jijoye, LY 67, QIMR-GOR, BL 16, and BL 29); and two cell lines, Daudi and EB-3, contained neither the M-ABA- nor the Jijoye-specific sequences. EBV type B appears to be less ubiquitous, since all type B isolates, including AG 876 virus, originated from Central Africa, La Réunion, and New Guinea. All the other cell lines, carrying EBV type A, were established from patients from Central Africa (4), North Africa (7), New Guinea (1), and Asia (6) and from white individuals (13). The restricted geographical localization of EBV type B in parts of the southern hemisphere and its similarity to herpesvirus papio (T. Dambaugh, K. Hennessy, L. Chamnankit, and E. Kieff (1984) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 81, 7632-7636) could suggest that such viruses may have evolved by recombination of EBV with a related Old World monkey virus, alternatively, evolution of virus variants within the human species also being conceivable.