In the search for viruses in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), it was reported that the measles virus (MV) can be detected in the Hodgkin-Reed/Sternberg (HRS) cells of a large fraction of cases from Israel by immunohistochemistry or in situ hybridisation, suggesting a potential role of this virus in HL. To extend and validate this report, we studied HL-derived cell lines and HRS cells microdissected from German and Israeli HL cases for the presence of MV RNA genome and transcripts, analysing three MV genes (nucleoprotein, matrix, haemaglutinin). A cell line infected with MV was used as a positive control for MV RNA detection. MV RNA was detectable down to 1 infected cell in a nested RT-PCR. Pools of microdissected HRS cells from 18 German and 7 Israeli classical HL (the latter reported to be positive for MV proteins in the previous study) were analysed for MV genome and transcripts. None of the viral genes was obtained in independent replicate experiments in any of the 25 HL cases. A Southern blot hybridisation performed with the second round PCR products further confirmed the negative results. Whole HL tissue sections were analysed to exclude MV in non-HRS cells, also yielding negative results. We also analysed four HL cell lines and showed that these are MV-negative, too. In this cohort of German and Israeli HL patients--including cases previously typed as MV-positive--and HL-derived cell lines, there was no evidence of MV genome in the HRS cells.