There is increasing evidence in man and animals that several human viruses can damage the vestibular labyrinth. Clinical and serologic studies of patients with vestibular neuritis suggest that the viruses may play a role in the pathogenesis of this disease. Temporal bone studies of patients dying after vestibular neuritis have found maximal damage in the distal branches of the vestibular nerve. These changes are felt to be consistent with a viral etiology. No satisfactory animal viral model of vestibular neuritis currently exists. However, animal studies have demonstrated that several human viruses including rubeola, herpes simplex, reovirus, mouse and guinea pig cytomegalovirus, and neurotropic strains of influenza A and mumps virus, can infect the vestibular nerve and the vestibular membranous labyrinth.