© Ozaki et al.; licensee BioMed Central. Background: HLA genotyping by next generation sequencing (NGS) requires three basic steps, PCR, NGS, and allele assignment. Compared to the conventional methods, such as PCR-sequence specific oligonucleotide primers (SSOP) and -sequence based typing (SBT), PCR-NGS is extremely labor intensive and time consuming. In order to simplify and accelerate the NGS-based HLA genotyping method for multiple DNA samples, we developed and evaluated four multiplex PCR methods for genotyping up to nine classical HLA loci including HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, HLA-DRB1/3/4/5, HLA-DQB1, and HLA-DPB1. Results: We developed multiplex PCR methods using newly and previously designed middle ranged PCR primer sets for genotyping different combinations of HLA loci, (1) HLA-DRB1/3/4/5, (2) HLA-DQB1 (3.8 kb to 5.3 kb), (3) HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, and (4) HLA-DPB1 (4.6 kb to 7.2 kb). The primer sets were designed to genotype polymorphic exons to the field 3 level or 6-digit typing. When we evaluated the PCR method for genotyping all nine HLA loci (9LOCI) using 46 Japanese reference subjects who represented a distribution of more than 99.5% of the HLA alleles at each of the nine HLA loci, all of the 276 alleles genotyped, except for HLA-DRB3/4/5 alleles, were consistent with known alleles assigned by the conventional methods together with relevant locus balance and no excessive allelic imbalance. One multiplex PCR method (9LOCI) was able to provide precise genotyping data even when only 1 ng of genomic DNA was used for the PCR as a sample template. Conclusions: In this study, we have demonstrated that the multiplex PCR approach for NGS-based HLA genotyping could serve as an alternative routine HLA genotyping method, possibly replacing the conventional methods by providing an accelerated yet robust amplification step. The method also could provide significant merits for clinical applications with its ability to amplify lower quantity of samples and the cost-saving factors.