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Tissue Antigens. 2003 Dec;62(6):542-7.

HLA diversity among Nadars, a primitive Dravidian caste of South India.

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  • 1HLA Department, Institute of Immunohaematology (ICMR), K.E.M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, India.


South India is one of the oldest geophysical regions mainly occupied by Dravidian language-speaking people. Here a random panel of 61 unrelated Nadar healthy individual from Tamil Nadu State were analyzed and compared with other populations of India and the world. HLA-A, B and C alleles frequencies and their haplotype frequencies were determined by high-resolution typing of genomic DNA. The analysis revealed that the Nadar caste of South India have several characters shared with East Asian populations consistent with the demographic history of South India, as well as specific features including several unique alleles such as A*03011, A*31011, B*15011, B*3501, B*51011, Cw*02022. In addition, haplotypes such as A*31011-Cw*02022-B*3501, A*03011-Cw*04011-B*4406 and A*2402101-Cw*04011-B*51011 are of high frequency in both these populations but are rare or absent in other populations of India and the world. The study suggests that a comparatively lesser degree of genetic admixture occurred between the South Indian and North Indian racial groups than that between South Indian and East Asian groups.

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