Atopy and asthma are complex genetic diseases resulting from the interactions of a number of genetic and environmental factors. We had previously reported allelic association between the IL9 marker on chromosome 5q31-33 and atopy. In order to further investigate the role of susceptibility genes on 5q31-33 in the development of atopy and asthma we have studied 240 UK families comprising 131 families selected at random, 60 multiplex families with affected sib pairs, and 49 single proband nuclear families. Polymorphic markers on 5q31-33 were genotyped and both single and multipoint linkage analysis was undertaken using the BETA program. We have used both affection status and quantitative scores for atopy and asthma for phenotypic variables, combining data into scores for asthma and atopy. The strongest suggestion of linkage using multipoint analysis was centred around D5S410 with a maximum Lod of 1.946 at location 171.3 cM and a standard error of 3.3 for the asthma quantitative score. There was no evidence of linkage with atopy, the atopy quantitative score or total serum IgE.