Spondyloarthropathies are rare in Africa and there is little data regarding HLA association. We prospectively studied 19 patients with spondyloarthropathy, recording clinical details and performing tissue typing (ABC loci). There were 9 patients with ankylosing spondylitis (8 males), all had severe spinal disease but none had ocular or cardiac involvement and HLA-B27 antigen was not found in any of the 7 patients tested; only one patient possessed a B7 crossreacting antigen. The 10 patients with Reiter's syndrome (8 males) had typical clinical features but again the HLA-B27 tissue type was not found. B7-CREG antigen was found in 7 of the 10 patients with Reiter's syndrome.