Following establishment, via the vaginal route, of infection with an AP-1 binding-site deleted mutant (delta AP-1) of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), cats were challenged with a homologous intact strain (TM2) of FIV. The cats were observed for 23 weeks to evaluate the efficacy of the delta AP-1 against the homologous TM2 strain challenge. These two viruses were differentiated by Southern blotting after amplification of proviral DNA by semi-nested polymerase chain reaction in DNAs of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and tissues. A TM2-specific band was detected in one cat exposed to but not infected with delta AP-1, but not in two delta AP-1-infected. These results indicate that delta AP-1 could protect against subsequent challenge with homologous FIV TM2 strain.