Polymorphisms in the CARD15/NOD2 gene, which encodes a cytosolic protein involved in bacterial recognition, are associated with development of Crohn's disease (CD). Other potential susceptibility genes such as CD14 may compound the risk of developing CD. We examined the frequency of the three major CARD15 risk alleles (3020insC/L1007fsinsC, G908R and R702W), and a functional polymorphism (-159C/T) in the promoter of the CD14 gene in 185 CD patients in New Zealand and 187 ethnically matched controls. The frequencies of the 3020insC (8.1 vs 0.8%, P < 0.0001), G908R (3.5 vs 2.4%, P = 0.37) and R702W (7.3 vs 5.1%, P = 0.21) alleles in CD patients and controls, respectively, were similar to those described in Australia, and the ancestral countries of Scotland, Ireland and the UK. Only the 3020insC polymorphism was found to be a significant risk factor for CD in our New Zealand cohort (odds ratio = 10.91 [95% confidence intervals 3.30-36.08]; P < 0.0001 for heterozygotes), but not a single patient was homozygous for the 3020insC polymorphism. The T allele (51 vs 50%, P = 0.77) and TT genotype (26 vs 24%, P = 0.84) frequencies of the -159C/T CD14 gene promoter polymorphism did not significantly differ between CD patients and controls. In summary, our findings provide evidence that the CARD15 3020insC risk allele influences disease susceptibility in a small proportion (<17%) of New Zealand CD patients, whereas there was no evidence that the CD14-159C/T polymorphism is associated with CD. © 2005 Australasian Society for Immunology Inc.