HLA-DP is the third of the class II molecules. Its role is antigen presentation, and it has been suggested to play a part in the susceptibility to certain diseases such as berylliosis, sarcoidosis and juvenile chronic arthritis. The standard typing method is SSO typing, although other methods have been used. Probably the best is sequence-based typing, but this is time-consuming and requires expensive equipment. We describe a method for comprehensive HLA-DPB1 and HLA-DPA1 typing using sequence-specific primers. This method has the advantages that it is rapid - typing a single DNA sample takes under 3 hours - and does not require any special equipment or reagents. The method has been shown to be highly accurate by typing 60 cell line DNA samples in which there was 100% agreement between the types obtained and the published information. Similarly typing of 20 DNA samples previously typed by sequence-based typing gave 100% concordance. We used the method to type DNA samples from 102 UK Caucasoid kidney donors. The allele frequencies agree with previously published data. Linkage disequilibria between HLA-DPB1, HLA-DPA1 and the other class II antigens have been investigated. Strong linkage disequilibria exist between certain HLA-DPB1 and HLA-DPA1 alleles. This is unsurprising in view of their proximity on the chromosome. More unexpectedly, the data also suggest that genes further away along the chromosome are in linkage disequilibrium with HLA-DP, forming extended haplotypes.