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Eur J Med Genet. 2006 Jan-Feb;49(1):43-56. Epub 2005 Feb 10.

HLA genes in Southern Tunisians (Ghannouch area) and their relationship with other Mediterraneans.

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National Blood Transfusion Centre, Tunis, Tunisia.


South Tunisian HLA gene profile has studied for the first time. HLA-A, -B, -DRB1 and -DQB1 allele frequencies of Ghannouch have been compared with those of neighboring populations, other Mediterraneans and Sub-Saharans. Their relatedness has been tested by genetic distances, Neighbor-Joining dendrograms and correspondence analyses. Our HLA data show that both southern from Ghannouch and northern Tunisians are of a Berber substratum in spite of the successive incursions (particularly, the 7th-8th century A.D. Arab invasion) occurred in Tunisia. It is also the case of other North Africans and Iberians. This present study confirms the relatedness of Greeks to Sub-Saharan populations. This suggests that there was an admixture between the Greeks and Sub-Saharans probably during Pharaonic period or after natural catastrophes (dryness) occurred in Sahara.

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