Classical genetic reassortant techniques were used to have a cold-adapted (ca) reassortant A/17/Duck/Potsdam/86/92 (H5N2) that inherited the hemagglutinin (HA) gene from the nonpathogenic avian virus A/Duck/Potsdam/ 1402-6186 (H5N2) and the genes of neuraminidase (NA) and non-glycated proteins from the ca attenuation donor A/Leningrad/134/17/57 (H2N2). All experiments were performed under increased biological protection (BSV-3+). The reassortant and parent H5N2 virus were non-pathogenic to Balb/c mice, the reassortant replication in the murine nasal passages (3.5 Ig EID50/ml) being higher than that in the lung (2.1 lg EID50/ml). Intranasal inoculation of mice with reassortant A/17/Duck/Potsdam/86/92 caused an immune response to both homological H5N2 virus and antigenically differing variants of influenza A (H5N1) virus isolated from humans in 1997 and 2003. The mice intranasally immunized with the ca reassortant were protected against fatal infection with the highly pathogenic A/Hong Kong/483/9797 (H5N1) virus and against infection with A/Hong Kong/213/03(H5N1) virus (80 and 100%, respectively).