Biprobe identification assays based on real-time PCR were designed for 15 species of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS). Three sets of primers and four biprobes were designed from two variable regions of the 16S rRNA gene. An identification scheme was developed based on the pattern of melting peaks observed with the four biprobes that had been tested on 24 type strains. This scheme was then tested on 100 previously identified clinical isolates and 42 blindly tested isolates. For 125 of the 142 clinical isolates there was a perfect correlation between the biprobe identification and the result of the ID 32 Staph phenotypic tests and PCR. For 12 of the other isolates a 300-bp portion of the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced to determine identity. The remaining five isolates could not be fully identified. LightCycler real-time PCR allowed rapid and accurate identification of the important CNS implicated in infection.