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Keywords:

  • Macedonians;
  • Greeks;
  • Ethiopians;
  • Mediterraneans;
  • Berbers;
  • Sudan;
  • Turks;
  • Egyptians;
  • Sahel;
  • Africa

Abstract: HLA alleles have been determined in individuals from the Republic of Macedonia by DNA typing and sequencing. HLA-A, -B, -DR, -DQ allele frequencies and extended haplotypes have been for the first time determined and the results compared to those of other Mediterraneans, particularly with their neighbouring Greeks. Genetic distances, neighbor-joining dendrograms and correspondence analysis have been performed. The following conclusions have been reached: 1) Macedonians belong to the “older” Mediterranean substratum, like Iberians (including Basques), North Africans, Italians, French, Cretans, Jews, Lebanese, Turks (Anatolians), Armenians and Iranians, 2) Macedonians are not related with geographically close Greeks, who do not belong to the “older” Mediterranenan substratum, 3) Greeks are found to have a substantial relatedness to sub-Saharan (Ethiopian) people, which separate them from other Mediterranean groups. Both Greeks and Ethiopians share quasi-specific DRB1 alleles, such as *0305, *0307, *0411, *0413, *0416, *0417, *0420, *1110, *1112, *1304 and *1310. Genetic distances are closer between Greeks and Ethiopian/sub-Saharan groups than to any other Mediterranean group and finally Greeks cluster with Ethiopians/sub-Saharans in both neighbour joining dendrograms and correspondence analyses. The time period when these relationships might have occurred was ancient but uncertain and might be related to the displacement of Egyptian-Ethiopian people living in pharaonic Egypt.