Primary vesicoureteric reflux (VUR) affects 1%-2% of whites, and reflux nephropathy (RN) causes up to 15% of end-stage renal failure in children and adults. There is a 30-50-fold increased incidence of VUR in first-degree relatives of probands, compared with the general population. We report the results of the first genomewide search of VUR and RN; we studied seven European families whose members exhibit apparently dominant inheritance. We initially typed 387 polymorphic markers spaced, on average, at 10 cM throughout the genome; we used the GENEHUNTER program to provide parametric and nonparametric linkage analyses of affected individuals. The most positive locus spanned 20 cM on 1p13 between GATA176C01 and D1S1653 and had a nonparametric LOD score (NPL) of 5.76 (P=.0002) and a parametric LOD score of 3.16. Saturation with markers at 1-cM intervals increased the NPL to 5.94 (P=.00009). Hence, VUR maps to a locus on chromosome 1. There was evidence of genetic heterogeneity at the chromosome 1 locus, and 12 additional loci were identified genomewide, with P<.05. No significant linkage was found to 6p, where a renal and ureteric malformation locus has been reported, or to PAX2, mutations of which cause VUR in renal-coloboma syndrome. Our results support the hypothesis that VUR is a genetic disorder.