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

Eur J Med Genet. 2006 Jan-Feb;49(1):43-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2005.01.001. Epub 2005 Feb 10.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Northern
  • Ethnicity
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genetics, Population
  • Haplotypes
  • Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Linkage Disequilibrium*
  • Mediterranean Region / epidemiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Tunisia / epidemiology


  • Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II