We examined the inactivation kinetics of marine birnavirus (MABV) in a coastal sea, in seawater samples collected from 50 cm depth. MABV was added to both natural and autoclaved seawater at a concentration of 6 x 10(6.43) TCID50 (50% tissue culture infectious dose) ml(-1), put in dialysis tubes and incubated at the original depth. The inactivation of MABV by solar UV radiation was examined using light and dark tubes. The infectivity titer of MABV was measured by the TCID50 method using CHSE-214 cells. Virus infectivity in natural seawater decreased quickly and was below the detection limit by 270 min in both light and dark conditions; however, virus infectivity was maintained in the autoclaved seawater until 420 min. These results suggest that the loss of virus infectivity is not caused by sunlight UV radiation.