The allelic constitution at HLA class II DRB1, DQB1, DQA1, and DPB1 loci of IDDM patients from Taiwan was compared with that of ethnically matched nondiabetic individuals by PCR-based DNA typing. Of the three haplotypes found to be positively associated with IDDM in Taiwan, two (DRB1*0301-DQA1*0501-DQB1*0201 and DR4-DQA1*0301-DQB1*0302) appear to be identical to the susceptible haplotypes in Caucasian and black populations, whereas the third haplotype (DR4-DQA1*0301-DQB1*04) has been reported to be positively associated with IDDM only in the Japanese population. The three haplotypes, DRB1*1502-DQA1*0102-DQB1*0601 and DRB1*1201 (or 1202)-DQA1*0501-DQB1*0301 and DRB1*0803-DQA1*0103-DQB1*0601, were negatively associated with IDDM in Taiwan; a protective effect of the last haplotype has not been reported previously. Neither DQ beta non-Asp-57 nor DQA1*0301 alone appears sufficient to account for the HLA-associated susceptibility to IDDM in Taiwan. Also, the DQ alpha beta heterodimer encoded by the alleles DQA1*0301/DQB1*0201, DQA1*0301/DQB1*0302, or DQA1*0501/DQB1*0201 does not explain the susceptibility of a larger fraction of the IDDM patients than the residue at position 57 of the DQ beta chain or DQA1*0301. Finally, the DRB1 alleles appear to affect IDDM susceptibility, although for most haplotypes the effect of individual loci cannot be assessed due to the linkage disequilibrium between the DQ and the DR region.