Antibody-mediated C-dependent lysis of cell lines infected with herpes simplex type 1 virus, influenza A degrees virus, measles virus, and mumps virus occurred by the alternative C pathway with the participation of IgG antibodies. Lysis occurred only with immune human sera, Mg++ EGTA immune sera, and immune sera depleted of C4 or treated with Fab anti-C4. Lysis did not occur with nonimmune sera, Mg++ EDTA immune sera, and immune sera heated 50 degrees C for 25 min, depleted of factor B or treated with Fab antifactor B. Lysis was restored to heated and factor B immunodepleted immune sera by addition of factor B, but not by addition of an excess of C2. Further studies showed that lysis of HeLa cells infected with measles virus was induced by both immune IgG and F(ab')2 but not Fab' in the presence of a nonantibody-containing human C source. Lysis of measles virus-infected cells was also indpendent of movement of viral antigens on the surface of the infected cells, as inhibition of viral antigen capping by cytochalasin B or sodium azide was not associated with abrogation of immune lysis.