The murine Flavivirus Modoc replicates well in Vero cells and appears to be as equally sensitive as both yellow fever and dengue fever virus to a selection of antiviral agents. Infection of SCID mice, by either the intracerebral, intraperitoneal, or intranasal route, results in 100% mortality. Immunocompetent mice and hamsters proved to be susceptible to the virus only when inoculated via the intranasal or intracerebral route. Animals ultimately die of (histologically proven) encephalitis with features similar to Flavivirus encephalitis in man. Viral RNA was detected in the brain, spleen, and salivary glands of infected SCID mice and the brain, lung, kidney, and salivary glands of infected hamsters. In SCID mice, the interferon inducer poly IC protected against Modoc virus-induced morbidity and mortality and this protection was associated with a reduction in infectious virus content and viral RNA load. Infected hamsters shed the virus in the urine. This allows daily monitoring of (inhibition of) viral replication, by means of a noninvasive method and in the same animal. The Modoc virus model appears attractive for the study of chemoprophylactic or chemotherapeutic strategies against Flavivirus infections.