A colorimetric assay for titration of neutralizing antibodies against vaccinia virus was developed. The test is based on the ability of live cells in culture to reduce the yellow tetrazolium salt MTT (thiazolyl-blue), to its blue formazan derivative. Antisera from individuals vaccinated with vaccinia virus against smallpox were serially diluted, incubated with 100 plaque-forming units (PFU) of vaccinia virus for 1 hour at 37°C, and then transferred to a 96-well plate containing monolayers of B-SC-1 cells. After incubation for 3 to 4 days at 37°C, when more than 80% of the control infected cultures exhibited high degree of cytopathogenic effect, MTT was added. The absorbance of the formazan formed and extracted by dimethylsulfoxide was read at 492 nm by an automatic microplate spectrophotometer. A good correlation was found between the results obtained using this newly developed method and those of the plaque-reduction assay.