Massachusetts-type infectious bronchitis viruses (IBV) designated H120, from three sources, have been evaluated as vaccines. Significant subtype variations were observed with the different vaccines based upon challenge virus infection and typical IB lesions induced where homologous and heterologous serotypes were used. In numerous cases, there was little agreement between challenge virus recovery from the respiratory tract and the presence or absence and severity of IB lesions. The study indicates that histopathological observations provide a sensitive, reliable indicator of the immune response to IB vaccination and augment the use of challenge virus isolation attempts. The data suggest that the use of the latter criterion alone was insufficient in evaluating IB immunity. The study also demonstrated that IB vaccine strains, although labeled similarly, varied in their immunogenic properties. Manipulation of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) and other factors should be considered when obtaining and employing vaccine strains from different sources. Complete characterization of IBV vaccine strains used commercially should be stressed together with an appropriate labeling of each.