Using immunofluorescence (IF), we investigated reactive antigens present in Crohn's disease patients with monoclonal antibodies derived from cells infected with measles virus, but not with the subacute sclerosing panencephalitis virus. During immunoblotting, one monoclonal antibody (mAb 86) reacted with a polypeptide with a molecular weight of 36,000 dalton (M; matrix protein) in measles virus-infected cells. This monoclonal antibody displayed a positive reaction only with tissues from patients with Crohn's disease by the IF test. It did not react with samples from patients with other chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis. Other monoclonal antibodies to the measles virus protein, and monoclonal antibodies to Herpes simplex virus type 1 did not react with the same tissue samples. The role of measles virus infection and/or a viral antigen (possibly the M protein) as a causative agent in Crohn's disease poses a challenging avenue for further research.