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Equine arteritis virus (EAV) is an enveloped, positive-stranded RNA virus belonging to the family Arteriviridae. Infection by EAV requires the release of the viral genome by fusion with the respective target membrane of the host cell. We have investigated the entry pathway of EAV into Baby Hamster Kidney cells (BHK). Infection of cells assessed by the plaque reduction assay was strongly inhibited by substances which interfere with clathrin-dependent endocytosis and by lysosomotropic compounds. Furthermore, infection of BHK cells was suppressed when clathrin-dependent endocytosis was inhibited by expression of antisense RNA of the clathrin-heavy chain before infection. These results strongly suggest that EAV is taken up via clathrin-dependent endocytosis and is delivered to acidic endosomal compartments.