Nonsensitized human leukocytes cocultured with various xenogeneic epithelioid and fibroblastic cells produced human leukocyte interferon and shortly thereafter transferred antiviral activity to the xenogeneic cells. antiviral activity in the cocultured xenogeneic cells was not due to cell-mediated cytotoxicity as measured by specific 51Cr release and staining with vital dyes. The transfer of antiviral activity from leukocytes to xenogeneic cells was blocked by rabbit antiserum to human leukocyte interferon. Transferred viral resistance failed to develop in actinomycin D-treated xenogeneic cells, even though these cells induced human leukocyte interferon. Based on these findings, it appears that interferon made in the cocultures acts on the leukocytes to effect the transfer of interferon-induced viral resistance to the xenogeneic cells, possibly by transmission of an inducer for the antiviral state. These studies strongly suggest a new and efficient host defense against virus infection which does not require killing of noninfected or recently infected cells.