We have developed a new procedure (Vir typing) for typing Streptococcus pyogenes, by amplifying the entire 5- to 7-kb variable vir regulon by long PCR. The amplified DNA is then cleaved with HaeIII and visualized by ethidium bromide fluorescence after agarose gel electrophoresis. A simple procedure for preparing DNA of sufficiently high quality from 96 samples was employed simultaneously. This DNA was also used to develop a random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) procedure. The discriminatory power of the two DNA-based procedures was compared with previous methods, M typing, and multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Both procedures were highly discriminatory, but the stoichiometric yield of restriction fragments in Vir typing allows unambiguous interpretation of results.