Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to complex chronic relapsing autoimmune disorders of the gastrointestinal tract that have been traditionally classified into Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). We have previously reported that genetic variation within a 250-kb haplotype (IBD5) in the 5q31 cytokine gene cluster confers susceptibility to CD in a Canadian population. In the current study, we first replicated this association by examining 368 German trios with CD and demonstrating, by transmission/disequilibrium testing (TDT), that the same haplotype is associated with CD (chi2=5.97; P=.007). Our original association study focused on the role of IBD5 in CD; we next explored the potential contribution of this locus to UC susceptibility in 187 German trios. Given the TDT results in the present cohort with UC, IBD5 may also act as a susceptibility locus for UC (chi2=8.10; P=.002). We then examined locus-locus interactions between IBD5 and CARD15, a locus reported elsewhere to confer risk exclusively to CD. Our current results indicate that the two loci act independently to confer risk to CD but that these two loci may behave in an epistatic fashion to promote the development of UC. Moreover, IBD5 was not associated with particular clinical manifestations upon phenotypic stratification in the current cohort with CD. Taken together, our results suggest that IBD5 may act as a general risk factor for IBD, with loci such as CARD15 modifying the clinical characteristics of disease.