High levels of recombinant bovine herpesvirus-1 (BHV-1) glycoprotein IV were produced in baculovirus, adenovirus, vaccinia virus and Escherichia coli expression systems. The different recombinant forms as well as authentic gIV were injected intramuscularly into seronegative calves. With the exception of E. coli-produced gIV, all forms of gIV induced high levels of neutralizing antibodies both in the serum and in the nasal superficial mucosa. Animals immunized with gIV produced in insect or mammalian cells were completely protected from infection with BHV-1, as demonstrated by the absence of temperature responses, clinical signs or detectable virus in the nasal secretions after challenge exposure. The E. coli-derived gIV induced partial protection from clinical disease, even though it was not glycosylated and did not induce appreciable levels of neutralizing antibodies. This study demonstrated that all forms of glycosylated gIV, whether authentic or recombinant, confer protection from BHV-1 infection and thus may be useful as an effective subunit vaccine.