Rapid and reliable two-step multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were established to identify human intestinal lactobacilli; a multiplex PCR was used for grouping of lactobacilli with a mixture of group-specific primers followed by four multiplex PCR assays with four sorts of species-specific primer mixtures for identification at the species level. Primers used were designed from nucleotide sequences of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region and its flanking 23S rRNA gene of members of the genus Lactobacillus which are commonly isolated from human stool specimens: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus crispatus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii (ssp. bulgaricus and ssp. lactis), Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus jensenii, Lactobacillus paracasei (ssp. paracasei and ssp. tolerans), Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus salivarius (ssp. salicinius and ssp. salivarius). The established two-step multiplex PCR assays were applied to the identification of 84 Lactobacillus strains isolated from human stool specimens and the PCR results were consistent with the results from the DNA-DNA hybridization assay. These results suggest that the multiplex PCR system established in this study is a simple, rapid and reliable method for the identification of common Lactobacillus isolates from human stool samples.