The use of gl deleted live vaccines against Aujeszky's disease (AD) facilitates to differentiate vaccinated from field-virus infected animals. In this study different modes of vaccination were tried to find out how sheep can be protected from a lethal infection with ADV. It could clearly be demonstrated that Aujeszky disease virus (ADV) is spread by horizontal transmission from infected pigs to sheep. The nasal discharges of infected pigs contained a maximum of 10(8.75)TCID50/g mucus at days 3 and 4 p.i. and those of the contact-pigs 10(8.5)TCID50/g mucus at days 6 and 7 after contact. Non-vaccinated contact sheep were infected horizontally by the pigs. The highest titres ranged from 10(6.25) to 10(7.5)TCID50/g mucus. These animals were sacrificed at day 5 p.i. exhibiting acute symptoms of AD. The nasal discharge of vaccinated sheep contained much lower amounts of ADV (maximum: 10(4.25)TCID50/g mucus). All surviving animals had developed antibodies. Following challenge with the ADV-strain NIA3, no febrile response or virus-shedding was observed in sheep vaccinated 2x s.c. or 2x i.m. with a gl deleted live vaccine, whereas sheep, vaccinated only 1x i.m. (4 out of 4 animals) or 1x i.m. (3 out of 4 animals) or 1x i.n. and 1x i.m. (1 out of 4 animals) had to be sacrificed after showing acute symptoms of AD. In conclusion it can be stated that a double parental vaccination with a gl deleted live vaccine protects sheep against a field-virus AD infection.