The application of nucleic acid probes, in the detection of pathogenic micro-organisms, has become an integral part of diagnostic technologies. In this study, Plasmodium vivax-specific DNA probes have been identified by carrying out genomic subtractive hybridization. In this approach, the recombinant clones from a P. vivax genomic library are screened with radiolabelled human and P. falciparum DNA. The colonies which react with labelled P. falciparum and human DNA are eliminated and those which do not produce any autoradiographic signal have been subjected to further screening procedures. Three P. vivax specific DNA probes have been obtained by these repeated screenings. Further analyses indicate that these probes are specific and sensitive enough to detect P. vivax infection in clinical blood samples when used in a non-radioactive DNA hybridization assay.