A 277-bp long DNA fragment, Ba813, was isolated from an avirulent Bacillus anthracis strain 7700 genomic library. Two oligonucleotides derived from the Ba813 sequence were used as primers in polymerase chain reaction tests on genomic DNA from 28 Bacillus anthracis and from 33 heterologous bacteria strains. A specific, 152-bp long DNA fragment was amplified only when Bacillus anthracis DNA was used as the target. The amplified product was analysed by non-radioactive sandwich hybridisation in microtiter plates using two oligonucleotides. The capture oligonucleotide C1 was covalently linked onto aminated wells of microtiter plates. The detection oligonucleotide D3 was labelled with biotine. The hybrid molecules were detected by avidine conjugated with alkaline phosphatase and chromogenic substrate. Amplification of Ba813 sequence may provide the basis for rapid and reliable assay for the detection and identification of Bacillus anthracis.