BACKGROUND Bacterial meningitis is an infectious disease with high rates of mortality and high frequency of severe sequelae. Early identification of causative bacterial and viral pathogens is important for prompt and proper treatment of meningitis and for prevention of life-threatening clinical outcomes. In the present study, we evaluated the value of the Seeplex Meningitis ACE Detection kit (Seegene Inc., Korea), a newly developed multiplex PCR kit employing dual priming oligonucleotide methods, for diagnosing acute meningitis. METHODS Analytical sensitivity of the kit was studied using reference strains for each pathogen targeted by the kit, while it's analytical specificity was studied using the human genome DNA and 58 clinically well-identified reference strains. For clinical validation experiment, we used 27 control cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples and 78 clinical CSF samples collected from patients at the time of diagnosis of acute meningitis. RESULTS The lower detection limits ranged from 10(1) copies/µL to 5×10(1) copies/µL for the 12 viral and bacterial pathogens targeted. No cross-reaction was observed. In the validation study, high detection rate of 56.4% was obtained. None of the control samples tested positive, i.e., false-positive results were absent. CONCLUSIONS The Seeplex Meningitis ACE Detection kit showed high sensitivity, specificity, and detection rate for the identification of pathogens in clinical CSF samples. This kit may be useful for rapid identification of important acute meningitis-causing pathogens.