CD8 T cells (T(CD8+)) play a crucial role in immunity to viruses. Current understanding of activation of naive T cells entails Ag presentation by professional APCs (pAPCs). What happens, however, when viruses evolve to avoid infecting pAPCs? We have studied the consequences of this strategy by generating recombinant adenoviruses that express influenza A virus nucleoprotein under the control of tissue-specific promoters. We show that the immunogenicity of such viruses requires their delivery to organs capable of expressing nucleoprotein. This indicates that infection of pAPCs is not required for adenoviruses to elicit a T(CD8+) response, probably due to a cross-priming via pAPCs. While this bodes well for recombinant adenoviruses as vaccines, it dims their prospects as gene therapy vectors.