HLA-A polymorphisms in four ethnic groups from Guinea-Bissau (West Africa) inferred from sequence-based typing

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Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A locus polymorphisms were examined at high-resolution level, using sequence-based typing, in the four most representative Guinea-Bissau (Northwest Africa) ethnic groups: Balanta, Bijagós, Fula and Papel. Despite the Fula group having significant differences when compared with the other three ethnic groups, all four groups most likely received a genetic input from non sub-Saharans. The Bijagós and Papel groups showed similarities to neighboring populations from Mali and Senegal. The Balanta, despite their oral tradition of an East Africa origin, show affinities to Cameroon populations, highly influenced by Bantu migrations. These results are congruent with historical sources and other genetic studies that support the finding that the Guinea-Bissau genetic pool was influenced by several migrations from North Africa, Sahara and East Africa.

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