Within the last 7 years, HLA and disease studies have made it clear that most of the diseases previously known to be HLA-A- or B-associated do in fact show stronger associations with HLA-D/DR antigens. This observation strengthens the assumption that Ir and/or Is determinants are responsible for these associations in agreement with the fact that many of these diseases are characterized by autoimmune phenomena. However, some diseases, ankylosing spondylitis in particular, still show stronger associations with HLA-ABC than with DR antigens. Among the conditions which have been shown to be HLA-associated more recently, four deserves special mention: (i) maternal immunization against the Zwa antigen because this is a good candidate for an antigen-specific Ir gene action; (ii) IgA deficiency in blood donors because this is a non-antigen-specific immunodeficiency; (iii) idiopathic hemochromatosis and (iv) congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-OH deficiency because immune mechanisms are unlikely to be involved. HLA studies and new genetic methodology have significantly advanced our knowledge about the inheritance of some diseases. Thus, HLA-B27 or a B27-associated HLA factor confers a dominant susceptibility to ankylosing spondylitis. HLA plays a definite and strong role in the susceptibility to IDDM, but simple genetic models (dominant, recessive, and intermediate) have been made unlikely on the basis of HLA results; the hypothesis that there are two different susceptibility genes within the HLA system still remains viable, but the demonstration of clinical heterogeneity and/or (better) of different pathogenetic pathways for DR3- and DR4-associated IDDM is required to substantiate it.