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A total of 752 individuals from The Gambia, west Africa who are representative of the major ethnic groups in the capital, Banjul, were serologically typed for HLA-A, -B, and -C antigens. Although all were typically "African" in their antigenic profiles, some marked frequency differences were found between the ethnic groups. Genetic distance comparisons with several other African populations showed that, although these west African populations clustered closely together, the positions of the various ethnic groups in The Gambia were consistent with historical and linguistic evidence of their affinities with one another and with other African populations. Despite the potential confounding effects both of selection by infectious diseases and of genetic drift caused by local differences in population structure, HLA frequencies appear to be of value in measuring inter- and intraregional population affinities in sub-Saharan Africa.


Journal article


American journal of human genetics

Publication Date





411 - 421


Molecular Immunology Group, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, England.


Humans, Genetics, Population, Genes, MHC Class I, Alleles, Ethnic Groups, Africa, Gambia, Genetic Variation