The closely related streptococcal species Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus and S. equi subsp. equi were identified by polymerase chain reaction using oligonucleotide primers designed according to species-specific parts of the superoxide dismutase A encoding gene sodA. A further differentiation of both subspecies could be performed by amplification of the genes seeH and seeI encoding the exotoxins SeeH and SeeI, respectively, which could be detected for S. equi subsp. equi but not for S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus. A further simplification of the identification and differentiation of both subspecies was conducted by sodA–seeI multiplex polymerase chain reaction.