A study of 101 sera from 69 Malay, 14 Chinese and 18 Indian healthy adult Malaysians was undertaken to determine the frequency of antinuclear antibodies (ANA), antimitochondrial antibodies (AMA), antismooth muscle antibodies (SMA) and antiparietal cell antibodies (APCA). There were 67 females and 34 males with a mean age of 31.7 years (+/-8.6). ANA was assayed by immunofluorescence (IF) using both mouse liver and HEp-2 cell substrates. AMA, SMA and APCA were also tested by IF using composite sections from mouse liver, kidney and stomach substrates. Analysis showed 6.9% were positive for ANA at a titre of 1:40 with HEp-2 while only 1.9% were detected using mouse liver. 9.9% had detectable AMA from titres 1:10 to 1:90. None of them had detectable SMA and only 1 (0.09%) had APCA at a titre of 1:80. This study suggests that a diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder has to be cautiously made taking into consideration that autoantibodies are present in low titres in the healthy population.