A rapid and sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was developed to detect conserved sequences from the immediate early gene of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). The primers sequences were from EcoRI J fragment of Ad169. The first primer set was selected to amplify a 242 bp fragment and the next primer set was nested within the first and amplified a 146 bp fragment. With the single PCR system it was possible to detect 100 fg HCMV DNA but with double PCR 5-10 fg were detectable. Specific amplification was seen in urines from patients with HCMV infections. 20 urine samples were analysed by single PCR, double PCR and virus cultivation. The double PCR was the most sensitive method. Urines from healthy seropositive persons and cells infected with other members of the herpes virus family were negative with all three methods. This suggests that specific amplification by double PCR is sensitive and can be used for rapid detection of HCMV DNA in cases with activated infection.