The kinetics of monocyte-macrophage differentiation was analysed using two Swine Workshop Cluster (SWC) CD molecules: SWC1 and SWC9. Myeloid cells were selected by labelling for the common myeloid antigen, SWC3. Confirmation of macrophage identification used acid phosphatase and phagocytosis activities. During differentiation, SWC1 was gradually lost. SWC9 was absent on monocytes but up-regulated early. Consequently, monocytes were SWC1+ SWC9- and macrophages were SWC1- SWC9+. An additional, intermediate, cell population was identified as SWC1+ SWC9+. Size and granularity characteristics mirrored the monocyte, macrophage and intermediate-cell phenotypes. Overall, SWC9 up-regulation was central in macrophage differentiation and dependent on plasma factors. The concomitant loss of SWC1 was independent of these factors, but always associated with mature macrophages. Upon up-regulation of SWC9, the SWC1+ SWC9+ intermediate monocytic cells became susceptible to African swine fever virus infection. These results demonstrate the heterogeneity of monocytic cell differentiation and the importance of these characteristics for interaction with monocytotropic viruses.