An infectious center viral plaque assay has been utilized to quantitate activated T suppressor (Ts) cells. This assay is based on two observations. Namely, resting T cells do not serve as good replicative hosts for many viruses, including vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), and that Ts cells can be enriched by their ability to bind to antigen-coated dishes. Our data show that Ts cells specific for either the TNP hapten or for dextran will replicate VSV upon antigenic and/or mitogenic activation, whereas resting Ts and hapten-specific B cells are less efficient in this process. This system will now allow the direct quantitation of Ts cells and their activation properties.