DNA of a new papillomavirus type was cloned from a cervical carcinoma biopsy. Two EcoRI clones of 7.8 and 6.9 kb in length were obtained, the latter contained a 900-bp deletion. The BamHI fragments of both clones were used to characterize the DNA. It represents a distinct type of papillomavirus as determined by its size, its cross-hybridization with DNA of other papillomavirus types under conditions of low stringency only, the co-linear alignment of its genome with HPV 6 and HPV 16 prototypes and its occasional occurrence as oligomeric episomes. We tentatively propose to designate it as HPV 18. DNA hybridizing with HPV 18 under stringent conditions was detected in 9/36 cervical carcinomas from Africa and Brazil, in 2/13 cervical tumors from Germany and 1/10 penile carcinomas. Benign tumors (17 cervical dysplasias, 29 genital warts), eight carcinomata in situ and 15 biopsies of normal cervical tissue were devoid of detectable HPV 18 DNA. HPV 18-related DNA was found, however, in cells of the HeLa, KB and C4-1 lines all derived from cervical cancer. The state of the viral DNA was investigated in four cervical cancer biopsies. The data reveal that the DNA might be integrated into the host cell genome. One tumor provided evidence for head to tail tandem repeats some of which persisted as circular episomes.