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    Post Distribution of HLA-A types by country

    I have started a new page listing HLA allele frequencies by country. I have only had time to add HLA-A types so far, but I am planning to add other types too.

    There are 14 common HLA-A types in Europe. Some geographic patterns are quite obvious for some types.

    HLA-A1 is found at highest frequencies in Northwest Europe, but is also common in central and eastern Europe. Its lowest incidence is observed among the Pasiegos, Sardinians, Saami, Finns, Georgians, Druzes and Saudis. Its presence in the Urals, Siberia and South Asia all hint at an Indo-European origin (both R1a and R1b).

    HLA-A2 is the most common type in Europe, ranging from 24% to 34% of the population anywhere. It doesn't show any specific geographic pattern though. A2 is a bit less common among the North Africans, Jews, Armenians, Turks and Greeks. Oddly enough it is lowest in Armenia (18%) but highest in neighbouring Georgia (35%). HLA-A2 was inherited from Neanderthal according to Abi-Rached et al. (2011).

    HLA-A3 reaches a maximum frequency of 15-30% in Northern Europe (Saami, Finland, Sweden, Germany) then progressively declines southward to reach in minimum in the Balkans, Sardinia, North Africa, the Levant and Saudi Arabia. Probably linked to Y-haplogroup I1. Note that the North European allele is exclusively A*0301, while Armenia and Georgia have both the European A*0301 and Middle Eastern A*0302.

    HLA-A11 is most common among the Russian Saami (14%) and Druzes (11%), followed by Southeast Europe, Turkey and bizarrely also Ireland. Despite its high frequency from the Carpathians to the Levant, A11 is rare in Saudi Arabia and North Africa. Probably due to some founder effect, its highest frequency is observed among the Saami of Murmansk, but its lowest frequency in among Scandinavian Saami. Its origin is probably Near Eastern, but it might have arrived to Europe during the late glacial or immediate post-glacial period, like Y-DNA J2b and E-V13 and mtDNA H, J1c and T2b, among others.

    HLA-A23 is most common in the Middle East and North Africa, and is absent from the Saami and oddly also the Sardinian population. It is also high among the Chuvash and Tatars, who have a lot of Y-DNA E1b1b and J2. Within Europe is fairly even, but lower in the north, except for a sharp peak in Norway (founder effect ?). A11 is probably not Neolithic due to its absence from Sardinia. It could have been brought by a later migration (haplogroup J2a in the Late Bronze or Early Iron Age ?).

    HLA-A24 peaks both among the Saami and Chuvash as well as in Southeast Europeans (Balkans + Italy), Druzes and Georgians. It is also relatively common among the Basques and Sardinians. It is least common in Northwest Europe. It appears to be pre-Indo-European. Perhaps Epipalaeolithic East Mediterranean like A11.

    HLA-A25 is absent from the Sardinian, Georgian, Druze and Saudi population, and is very rare in North Africa, the southern Balkans, Turkey and Armenia as well as in the extreme north of Europe (Lapland, Finland). It peaks mostly in R1a-rich countries (Slavic + Norway, Austria, Romania), then in R1b-rich countries (Ireland, Britain, France). It is almost certainly of Indo-European origin.

    HLA-A26 is found chiefly in the Balkans and central Europe, especially in the Danube basin. It peaks among the Jews (8.9%), Saudis (6.4%) and the mysterious Pasiegos of Cantabria (8.6%). It is rarest in western and northern Europe. Very probably of Southwest Asian origin, but not necessarily G2a (could have been spread by J1 and T1a Neolithic herders). HLA-A26 was inherited from Neanderthal according to Abi-Rached et al. (2011).

    HLA-A29 is most common in Western Europe, North Africa, Israel and Armenia, with a peak among the Pasiegos (14%) and the Basques (13%). It appears to be rarest in Northeast Europe (Finland, Lapland, Volga-Ural), Danubian Europe (Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria), but also Sardinia and Georgia. It might have come from the Near East to Iberia via North Africa, then spread around western Europe with the Megalithic and Bell Beaker cultures. It could be linked to R1b-V88.

    HLA-A30 is exceptionally high among the Sardinians (19%), followed by Moroccans (10.6%), Jordanians (8.7%), Druzes (7.5%), the Basques (7.3%) and Bosnians (6.4%), but is almost absent from Finland and Lapland, which hint at a Neolithic dispersal. The higher frequency is southern and central Europe also suggest a Neolithic origin, probably through the Mediterranean route like A26 and A29.

    HLA-A32 peaks among the Sardinians (8.7%) as well as in the Balkans, Turkey, Italy and Andalusia. It is rarest among the Basques, Pasiegos and Saami. Also of probable Neolithic origin, but brought directly from the Near East (G2a).

    HLA-A33 also peaks among the Libyans, (5.5%), Saudis (5.3%), Moroccans (4.8%), Sardinians (4.5%), Jews (3.5%) and Jordanians (3.5%), but has a wider Mediterranean and eastern European distribution. It is lowest in Northwest Europe and Fennoscandia. It is very surely linked to Neolithic farmers.

    HLA-A68 is mostly distinctive by its low incidence among the Sardinians, Basques and Saami. Otherwise, like A23, it doesn't have a clear geographic pattern. Like A31, its highest frequency is found among the Saudis, Sudanese, North Africans, Chuvash, Bashkirs, Swiss and Pasiegos. It's hard to find a connection between those people. Its probably linked to Y-haplogroup E1b1b, or perhaps to Y-DNA G (encompassing both G1 and G2) as A68 is also found in Mongolia.

    HLA-A74 is only found at trace frequencies in Europe and is more common in Subsaharan Africa. The highest reported frequency in Europe is in Albania-Kosovo (0.6%), which also happens to have the highest frequency of Y-haplogroup E1b1b. A74 is also found in Greece, Bosnia, Romania, Spain, Portugal, France, Wales, the Netherlands and Germany. In the Middle East it is most common among the Saudis (0.9%) and Jordanians (0.8%), who have the highest frequency of E1b1b in the region.






    Medical conditions associated with HLA-A types


    HLA type
    Increased risk for...
    A1 Type-1 Diabetes
    A2 Spontaneous abortion
    A3 Multiple sclerosis, Hemochromatosis, Myasthenia gravis
    A11 Papilloma virus suseptibility
    A24 Ankylosing spondylitis, Myasthenia gravis, Type-1 Diabetes
    A26 Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma
    A30 Myasthenia gravis
    A68 Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma
    Last edited by Maciamo; 16-04-15 at 19:54.
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