[en] Asthma is a heterogeneous disorder hallmarked by chronic inflammation in the respiratory system. Exacerbations of asthma are correlated with respiratory infections. Considering the implication of interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) in innate and adaptive immunity, we investigated the preferential transmission patterns of ten IRF5 gene polymorphisms in two asthmatic family cohorts. A common IRF5 haplotype was found to be associated with asthma and the severity of asthmatic symptoms. Stratified analysis of subgroups of asthmatic individuals revealed that the associations were more pronounced in nonatopic asthmatic individuals. In addition, the risk alleles of IRF5 polymorphisms for asthma were almost completely opposite to those for autoimmune disorders. Our study provides the first evidence of association between IRF5 and asthma, and sheds light on the related but potentially distinct roles of IRF5 alleles in the pathogenesis of asthma and autoimmune disorders.