The present study evaluates the usefulness of a PCR-based method for routine paternity testing in 35 paternity cases. This identification method which is based on amplification of three hypervariable genetic loci, apoB, D1S80 and HLA-DQ alpha, is compared, with regard to reliability and technical feasibility, to the conventional identification methods based on protein polymorphisms and to Southern blot hybridizations with multi- and single locus probes. Data obtained by PCR-amplification of these three loci resulted in paternity indices (56.1, geometric mean value) which are at the same level as the corresponding values derived from standard genetic blood group markers (42.7). The geometric mean value of the paternity indices obtained by Southern blot hybridization using three single locus probes (190.6) was more informative, and the most informative analysis proved to be Southern blot hybridization with multilocus probes. The technical feasibility and the reproducibility of the PCR-based analysis is, however, overwhelming, and if several highly polymorphic loci are amplified, the resolving power of PCR-analysis is similar to that obtained using multilocus probes.