To identify genes potentially relevant in atopic asthma, we analyzed markers in chromosome 12q15-q24.1 for linkage to asthma and total serum IgE concentration. Sib-pair analyses of 10 markers in 345 full- and 219 half-sib pairs from 29 multiplex Afro-Caribbean families provided evidence for linkage to this region for both asthma and total serum IgE. Certain alleles at these loci showed significant evidence of transmission disequilibrium with both asthma and high IgE. Using 6 of these markers and 11 additional markers, evidence for linkage of total IgE to 12q was also found in 12 Caucasian Amish kindreds (24 nuclear families) by both sib-pair and transmission disequilibrium analyses. These findings suggest that the 12q15-q24.1 region may contain a gene(s) controlling asthma and the associated "high total IgE" trait.