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We report on the development and application of a rapid assay for detecting and typing dengue viruses. Oligonucleotide consensus primers were designed to anneal to any of the four dengue virus types and amplify a 511-bp product in a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (PCR). First, we produced a cDNA copy of a portion of the viral genome in a reverse transcriptase reaction in the presence of primer D2 and then carried out a standard PCR (35 cycles of heat denaturation, annealing, and primer extension) with the addition of primer D1. The resulting double-stranded DNA product of the RT-PCR was typed by two methods: dot blot hybridization of the 511-bp amplified product to dengue virus type-specific probes or a second round of PCR amplification (nested PCR) with type-specific primers, yielding DNA products the unique sizes of which were diagnostic for each dengue virus serotype. The accumulated data demonstrated that dengue viruses can be accurately detected and typed from viremic human serum samples.