[en] The presence of maternally derived antibodies can interfere with the development of an active antibody response to antigen. Infection of seven passively immunized young calves with a virulent strain of bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1) was performed to determine whether they could become seronegative after the disappearance of maternal antibodies while latently infected with BHV-1. Four uninfected calves were controls. All calves were monitored serologically for 13 to 18 months. In addition, the development of a cell-mediated immune response was assessed by an in vitro antigen-specific gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) production assay. All calves had positive IFN-gamma responses as early as 7 days until at least 10 weeks after infection. However, no antibody rise was observed after infection in the three calves with the highest titers of maternal antibodies. One of the three became seronegative by virus neutralization test at 7 months of age like the control animals. This calf presented negative IFN-gamma results at the same time and was classified seronegative by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay at around 10 months of age. This calf was latently infected, as proven by virus reexcretion after dexamethasone treatment at the end of the experiment. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that BHV-1-seronegative latent carriers can be obtained experimentally. In addition, the IFN-gamma assay was able to discriminate calves possessing only passively acquired antibodies from those latently infected by BHV-1, but it could not detect seronegative latent carriers. The failure to easily detect such animals presents an epidemiological threat for the control of BHV-1 infection.