During the period 1977-1992 virological tests were conducted on a total of 2092 pools of elvers and eels (Anguilla anguilla), collected on 306 sampling occasions, in Denmark, United Kingdom, France and Sweden. From the 2092 pools, 91 virus isolates were obtained, of which 44 were of eel rhabdovirus (EVEX/EVA) belonging to the vesiculo group, 3 were of eel rhabdovirus of the lyssa group, 38 were of infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN) virus, and 5 were herpes-like viruses. On one occasion only, a virus was isolated which was serologically related to viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) virus. On no occasion was infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) virus isolated. An examination of available data on the occurrence and spread of VHS in Europe gave no evidence to indicate that A. anguilla might be a vector of this disease. This is supported by published data showing that elvers of A. anguilla appear to be refractory to experimental challenge with VHSV. It is concluded that, provided simple precautions are taken for elvers which might, by chance, be surface-contaminated with the virus, there appears to be little risk of spread of VHSV into previously VHS-free areas through international transfer of wild elvers for aquaculture purposes.