This study describes the development and evaluation of a new commercial test, Chlamylege (Argene Inc.), which allows the simultaneous detection in respiratory samples of Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and most Legionella species, as well as PCR inhibitors, by using a multiplex PCR and microplate hybridization. The sensitivities of Chlamylege were 1 x 10(-3) IFU, 5 x 10(-2) color-changing units, and 1 CFU per reaction tube for C. pneumoniae, M. pneumoniae, and Legionella pneumophila, respectively. A cohort of 154 clinical samples from patients with documented respiratory infections was analyzed by the kit, including 2 samples from patients with C. pneumoniae infection, 9 samples from patients with M. pneumoniae infection, 19 samples from patients with Legionella species infection, and 114 samples that tested negative for the three pathogens. All the positive specimens were correctly detected and identified by the Chlamylege kit, and no false-positive result was observed with the negative samples. The kit was then evaluated in a pediatric prospective study that included 220 endotracheal aspirates, and the results were compared with those obtained by three single in-house PCR assays. Four specimens were found to be positive for C. pneumoniae and six were found to be positive for M. pneumoniae by using both strategies. The Chlamylege kit detected two additional samples positive for M. pneumoniae and one additional sample positive for a Legionella species other than L. pneumophila; these three samples were shown to be true positive by other techniques. These overall results demonstrate that the Chlamylege assay is sensitive, specific, and convenient for the rapid detection and identification of atypical pathogens in clinical samples from patients with respiratory infections.