A polyclonal antiserum (A379) against water soluble proteins from Phytophthora cinnamomi mycelium was produced in rabbit. In ELISA, the 1 : 10 000 diluted antiserum revealed only Phytophthora isolates, not allowing a clear-cut discrimination among congenerous species, in spite of a generally higher reactivity on P. cinnamomi proteins. The antiserum gave positive reactions in Western blot analyses against mycelial proteins from nine species of Phytophthora and Pythium sp. (grown on rich media), but not with Rhizoctonia solani, binucleate Rhizoctonia, Verticillium dahliae, Fusarium oxysporum and Cryphonectria parasitica. All Phytophthora species showed common epitopes on proteins of molecular masses 77, 66, 51 and 48 kDa. However, a species-specific protein of 55 kDa was immunodecorated only in P. cinnamomi samples, thus allowing univocal identification of this species. When tested against total proteins from the same fungi grown on water, the antibody revealed diagnostic bands of 55 and 51 kDa in P. cinnamomi only. The antiserum is therefore suitable for the specific identification of P. cinnamomi emerging in distilled water from infected tissues of chestnut, blueberry and azalea.