Abstract. In 1969, a new kind of epizootic occurred among eels in Japan and virological investigation was initiated. A new virus designated eel virus european (EVE) was isolated and biological, cytological, serological tests and infectivity trials were carried out. In its CPE on RTG-2 cells and additionally in its biological properties and particle size, EVE was found to be similar to infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV). Serologically, EVE was similar to the ? Honnincthun, France, strain of IPNV. However, infectivity trials showed that EVE and IPNV differed; EVE killed Japanese eels Anguilla japonica but not rainbow trout fry Salmo gairdneri, while IPN virus killed rainbow trout fry but not eels. We consider EVE to be the primary agent causing the new epizootic and propose the name viral kidney disease for the resulting clinical condition.