SV40 DNA has been found associated with several types of human tumors. We now report a sequence comparison of SV40 DNAs from pediatric brain tumors and from osteosarcomas with viral isolates from monkeys and from humans. We analyzed the entire genomic sequences of five isolates, Baylor and VA45-54 strains from monkeys and SVCPC, SVMEN, and SVPML-1 recovered from humans, and compared them to the reference virus SV40-776. The viral sequences were highly conserved, but isolates could be distinguished by variations in the structure of the viral regulatory region and in the nucleotide sequence of the variable domain at the C-terminus of the large T-antigen gene. We conclude that multiple strains of SV40 exist that can be identified on the basis of sequences in these regions of the viral genome. The isolates were more similar to each other and to the Baylor strain than to the reference strain SV40-776. Human isolates SVCPC and SVMEN were found to be identical. The DNAs present in some human brain and bone tumors were authentic SV40 sequences. Many of the C-terminal T-ag sequences associated with human tumors were unique, but some sequences were shared by independent sources. There was no compelling evidence for human-specific strains of SV40 or for tumor type-specific associations, suggesting that SV40 has a relatively broad host range. The source of the viral DNA found in human tumors remains unknown.