Children seeking medical attention for acute respiratory tract infections were investigated for evidence of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection. Blood samples were obtained from 367 children. Nasopharyngeal or throat swabs for PCR analysis (polymerase chain reaction) were taken from 360 children. Serology was found to be useful for diagnosis of infection only in children aged > 5 y. Using PCR, a prevalence of 8 and 10% of C. pneumoniae was found in male and female children aged < 2 y; 17 and 19%, respectively, in the age group 2-4 y and 32 and 21%, respectively, in the age group 5-16 y. We conclude that Chlamydia pneumoniae is a common finding in young children with respiratory tract infections. Younger children were more often found to have a moderate disease, but may have been ill for a long period.