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Am J Hematol. 1988 Feb;27(2):139-41.

Beta S gene in Sicily is in linkage disequilibrium with the Benin haplotype: implications for gene flow.

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  • 1INSERM Unité 15, Paris, France.


Hemoglobin beta-like gene cluster haplotypes defined by restriction enzyme polymorphic sites are useful in determining the origin of the beta S gene found in several human populations. We present here evidence that the beta S gene found among Sicilians is associated with the same haplotype observed among sickle cell anemia patients from Central West Africa. In addition, this haplotype is either nonexistent or very rare among normal Sicilian individuals. We conclude that the beta S gene was introduced to Sicily from North Africa and that the gene flow originated in Central West Africa and traveled north through historically well-defined trans-Saharan commercial routes.

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