Preliminary studies have indicated that the recently described bacterium Atopobium vaginae may have an association with bacterial vaginosis (BV). Fifty-five women attending the gynaecology out-patient's clinic were tested for the presence of this micro-organism, Gardnerella vaginalis, Mobiluncus and Bacteroides species by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assays. The frequency of detection was 40%. PCR detection of Gardnerella vaginalis with A. vaginae, occurred in 50% of A. vaginae-positive cases. Due to the high detection rate of A. vaginae we believe that it is important to determine whether this and other hard-to-culture microorganisms have a role in gynaecological disorders.