Target cells expressing influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) could be recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in conjunction with the murine major histocompatibility complex class I antigen, H-2Kd, when both antigens were encoded by recombinant vaccinia virus. This recognition occurred if HA and H-2Kd were encoded by separate vaccinia viruses following dual infection of target cells or if HA and H-2Kd were encoded by a single recombinant virus. In contrast, target cells expressing nucleoprotein (NP) were only recognized by H-2Kd-restricted CTL if both NP and H-2Kd were encoded by the same vaccinia virus. These results show that the requirements for association of H-2Kd with different viral antigens derived from HA or NP can vary. Possible factors contributing to this difference are discussed.