The frequencies of HLA-A, B, C and DRB1 alleles and haplotype frequencies for HLA-A, B, C and A, B, DR loci were studied in 201 healthy unrelated Khalkha-Mongolians. The most common class I antigens were A24 (25.8%), A2 (23.4%), B61 (12.6%), B51 (8.5%), Cw10 (14.2%), Cw9 (14.1%), Cw7 (13.3%), Cw1 (11.8%) and Cw6 (10.2%). A total of 35 DRB1 alleles were identified in this group of samples. The most frequent DRB1 allele was DRB1*0301 (11.1%), followed by DRB1*0701 (9.7%) and DRB1*1101 (8.5%). One novel DRB1 allele (14MV) and three rare types, DRB1*1111, DRB1*1504 and DRB1*1412, recently described in Jews, the Dai minority of China and Japanese, respectively, were identified in Mongolians. The phylogenetic tree constructed by UPG method put Mongolians in the Northeast Asian cluster. A comparison of three locus haplotype distributions with world populations, revealed that Mongolians share several characteristics in common with other Mongoloids as well as with Caucasoids and Amerindians. The most common A, B and DR haplotype in Mongolians, A33-B58-DR3, was shared with Thai, Thai Chinese and Singapore Chinese. These data support that unique genetic background of Mongolians played a major role in ethnic formation and differentiation of Mongoloid populations.