We compared the molecular, antigenic, and pathogenic properties of KBSH parvovirus to those of porcine parvovirus (PPV) isolate NADL-8. KBSH, propagated in swine testes cell in culture, possessed two major capsid polypeptides of 83 and 64 kilodaltons that were similar in size to those of PPV. KBSH-infected cells also contained an 86-kilodalton nonstructural polypeptide that was identical in size to the PPV nonstructural polypeptide (NS-1). The KBSH polypeptides were structurally similar but not identical to the corresponding PPV polypeptides, as revealed by partial proteolysis mapping. Viral replicative-form DNA from KBSH-infected cells was similar in size to PPV replicative-form DNA and exhibited similar but not identical restriction endonuclease cleavage patterns to that of PPV replicative-form DNA. Antigenically, the two viruses were also very closely related. By using heterologous and homologous antisera, the two viruses were indistinguishable in hemagglutination inhibition and immunoprecipitation assays. However, pathogenically these viruses were dramatically different. NADL-8 caused fetal death when injected into swine fetuses in utero and viremia and high persisting antibody titers when administered orally to weaning-age swine. KBSH-inoculated fetuses were normal in appearance, and pigs orally exposed to KBSH failed to establish viremia and demonstrated only transient antibody titers. Thus, KBSH appears to be a PPV that is very closely related to a highly pathogenic PPV isolate, yet is itself nonpathogenic in swine. This reduced pathogenic potential of KBSH may be attributable to its poor ability to replicate in swine.