The interaction of polyoma virus and human cells was investigated. Abortive infection as evidenced by the synthesis of T-antigen was observed in normal fibroblast and abnormal (transformed) cells but not in normal epithelial cells. A high percentage of simian virus 40-transformed WI-18 Va2 and spontaneously transformed BE skin cells produced T-antigen after high-multiplicity infection, but most of the cells rapidly lost antigen-producing capacity upon cell passage, and the cultures became negative by passage 3. All fibroblast cells displayed varying degrees of susceptibility to infection, but most of the cell lines became negative for T-antigen except for two. In one, T-antigen persisted in a small percentage of the cells throughout the lifetime of the culture, without cellular transformation occurring. In the other, the entire culture became morphologically transformed and eventually consisted of 100% T-antigen-positive cells. This is the first time that normal diploid human fibroblast cells have been transformed by polyoma virus.