The complete DNA nucleotide sequence of theEcoRI DNA fragment N (0.235 to 0.258 viral map units) of equine herpes virus type 2 (EHV-2) strain T400/3 was determined. This DNA fragment comprises 4237 bp with a base composition of 55.23% G+C and 44.77% A+T. Nineteen open reading frames (ORFs) of 50-287 amino acid (aa) residues were detected. ORF number 10 is located between the nucleotide position 2220 and 2756 coding for a protein of 179 amino acid residues. This protein shows significant homology to the cytokine synthesis inhibitory factor (CSIF; interleukin 10) of human (76.4%) and mouse (68.5%), and to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) protein BCRF1 (70.6%). The existence of an interleukin 10 (IL-10) analogous gene within the genome of the EHV-2 was confirmed by screening the genome of nine EHV-2 strains using specific oligonucleotide primers corresponding to the 5′ and 3′ region of this particular gene by polymerase chain reaction. In all experiments an 870 bp DNA product was amplified. The specifity of the amplified DNA fragments obtained from individual EHV-2 strains was confirmed by DNA-DNA hybridization experiments. The DNA sequence analysis of the amplified DNA products of the EHV-2 strain LK was carried out. This analysis revealed the identity of the corresponding IL-10 gene (540 bp) of this strain to the IL-10 gene of EHV-2 strain T400/3. The presented data indicate that the EHV-2 genome harbors a viral interleukin 10-like gene. This is further evidence that the IL-10 gene can be present in the genomes of members of the Herpesviridae family.