Serum titres of IgA are raised in ankylosing spondylitis and increased titres of antibodies to klebsiella have also been reported. The humoral response was investigated in ankylosing spondylitis and other inflammatory disorders. IgA antibodies to klebsiella pneumoniae K43 were measured in patients with ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis and in controls. Significantly raised median titres of anti-klebsiella IgA, measured as optical density at 405 nm with an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), were seen among the patients with ankylosing spondylitis (0.7), Crohn's disease (0.8), rheumatoid arthritis (0.6), and ulcerative colitis (0.8) compared with controls (0.4). Activity of disease in ankylosing spondylitis and titres of anti-klebsiella IgA were not correlated. In contrast, titres of anti-klebsiella IgM were significantly lower in patients with ankylosing spondylitis and ulcerative colitis. The increase in the titres of anti-klebsiella IgA may be due to increased permeability of the gut to bacterial antigens, leading to an increased IgA response in the gut mucosa and permitting the release of IgA into the circulation. As the increased antibody titres were seen in Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis as well as in ankylosing spondylitis the response may be nonspecific, occurring because of possible underlying inflammatory bowel disease in these conditions.