Atopy is an IgE-mediated condition known to aggregate in families and is a major risk factor for asthma. As part of the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Asthma (CSGA), a genome-wide scan for atopy, defined by skin sensitivity to one or more common environmental allergens, was conducted in 287 CSGA families (115 African American, 138 Caucasian and 34 Hispanic). Using a nonparametric genetic analysis approach, two regions were observed in the sample of all families that yielded multipoint lod scores >1.5 (chromosome 11q, lod=1.55 between D11S1986 and D11S 1998; chromosome 20p between D20S473 and D20S604, lod=1.54). Modeling that included multiple genomic positions simultaneously indicated that four chromosomal regions accounted for the majority of evidence for linkage in the combined families. These four regions are on chromosomes 10p near D10S1412 (lod=0.94), 11q near D11S1986 (lod=1.76), 17q near D17S784 (lod=0.97) and 20p near D20S473 (lod=1.74). In the subset of pedigrees giving positive evidence for linkage on chromosome 11q, the evidence for linkage increased by lod scores greater than one in four other chromosomal regions: 5q (D5S1480, lod=1.65), 8p (D8S1113, lod=1.60), 12p (D12S372, lod=1.54) and 14q (D14S749, lod=1.70). These results suggest that several regions may harbor genes contributing to the risk for atopy and these may interact with one another in a complex manner.