We have previously shown that about 85% of the mutations in 194 Belgian cystic fibrosis alleles could be detected by a reverse dot-blot assay. In the present study, 50 Belgian chromosomes were analyzed for mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene by means of direct solid phase automatic sequencing of PCR products of individual exons. Twenty-six disease mutations and 14 polymorphisms were found. Twelve of these mutations and 3 polymorphisms were not described before. With the exception of one mutant allele carrying two mutations, these mutations were the only mutations found in the complete coding region and their exon/intron boundaries. The total sensitivity of mutant CF alleles that could be identified was 98.5%. Given the heterogeneity of these mutations, most of them very rare, CFTR mutation screening still remains rather complex in our population, and population screening, whether desirable or not, does not appear to be technically feasible with the methods currently available.