AIMS: To develop an indirect ELISA using the heat shock protein (hsp60) of Chlamydia trachomatis as antigen. METHODS: The hsp60 gene was amplified by PCR, expressed in the vector pDEV-107 and transformed into Escherichia coli. The recombinant protein, expressed as a beta-galactosidase fusion product, was captured onto a solid phase using a monoclonal antibody directed against beta-galactosidase. Following incubation with goat anti-human antibody conjugated to peroxidase and colour development on addition of peroxidase substrate, antibody recognition of antigen was quantified by optical density at 492 nm. RESULTS: A sensitive and relatively specific ELISA to detect hsp60 has been produced, which can be exploited to determine the antibody response to C trachomatis hsp60. CONCLUSIONS: This assay will permit the future investigation of the immunopathogenesis of persistent inflammation following C trachomatis infection.