Résumé : A colorimetric microplate hybridization assay was developed previously to simplify detection procedures of DNA fragments resulting from polymerase chain reactions (PCR). This format has now been adapted for the simultaneous detection and identification of three human papillomavirus (HPV), types 16, 18 and 33, associated frequently with cervical cancer. This post-PCR detection system uses three type-specific capture oligonucleotides linked covalently to a single microplate well and three type-specific multibiotinylated oligonucleotidic probes for detection. It therefore offers a double specificity; the first is conferred by pairs of primers, specific of each type of virus tested, and the second, by the sets of capture and detection probes which are complementary to internal regions of the amplified DNA fragments. The detection format outperformed agarose gel electrophoresis of amplified DNA products in sensitivity and specificity. The rapidity and simplicity of this hybridisation system would justify its use in routine diagnostic examination of cervical specimens (smears and biopsies). Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.