Many viruses including HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B, have an outer lipid envelope which maintains inserted viral peptides in the "correct" functional conformation and orientation. Disruption of the lipid envelope by most solvents destroys infectivity and often results in a loss of antigenicity. This communication outlines a novel approach to viral inactivation by specific solvent delipidation which modifies the whole virion rendering it non-infective, but antigenic. Duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) was delipidated using a diisopropylether (DIPE) and butanol mixture and residual infectivity tested by inoculation into day-old ducks. Delipidation completely inactivated the DHBV (p < 0.001). Delipidated DHBV was then used to vaccinate ducks. Three doses of delipidated DHBV induced anti-DHBs antibody production and prevented high dose challenge infection in five out of six ducks. In comparison, five of six ducks vaccinated with undelipidated DHBV and four of four ducks vaccinated with glutaraldehyde inactivated DHBV were unprotected (p < 0.05). Although this solvent system completely inactivated DHBV, viral antigens were retained in an appropriate form to induce immunity. Delipidation of enveloped viruses with specific organic solvents has potential as the basis for development of vaccines.