BACKGROUND Polymorphisms of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes are suggested to increase the risk of gastric cancer (GC). AIM To investigate the HLA allele frequencies of patients with GC relative to a control group in terms of CagA+ multiple (>= 2) EPIYA-C repeats. METHODS The patient group comprised 94 patients [44 GC and 50 duodenal ulcer (DU) patients], and the control group comprised 86 individuals [(50 non-ulcer dyspepsia patients and 36 people with asymptomaticHelicobacter pylori(H. pylori)]. Polymerase chain reaction was performed for the amplification of theH. pylori cagAgene and typing of EPIYA motifs. HLA sequence-specific oligonucleotide (SSO) typing was performed using Lifecodes SSO typing kits (HLA-A, HLA-B HLA-C, HLA-DRB1, and HLA-DQA1-B1 kits). RESULTS The comparison of GC cases in terms of CagA+ multiple (>= 2) EPIYA-C repeats showed that only the HLA-DQB1*06 allele [odds ratio (OR): 0.37,P= 0.036] was significantly lower, but significance was lost after correction (Pc = 0.1845). The HLA-DQA1*01 allele had a high ratio in GC cases with multiple EPIYA-C repeats, but this was not significant in the univariate analysis. We compared allele frequencies in the DU cases alone and in GC and DU cases together using the same criterion, and none of the HLA alleles were significantly associated with GC or DU. Also, none of the alleles were detected as independent risk factors after the multivariate analysis. On the other hand, in a multivariate logistic regression with no discriminative criterion, HLA-DQA1*01 (OR = 1.848), HLA-DQB1*06 (OR = 1.821) and HLA-A*02 (OR = 1.579) alleles were detected as independent risk factors for GC and DU. CONCLUSION None of the HLA alleles were detected as independent risk factors in terms of CagA+ multiple EPIYA-C repeats. However, HLA-DQA1*01, HLA-DQB1*0601, and HLA-A*2 were independent risk factors with no criterion in the multivariate analysis. We suggest that the association of these alleles with gastric malignancies is not specifically related to cagA and multiple EPIYA C repeats.