HLA class I allele lineages and haplotype frequencies in Arabs of the United Arab Emirates

Jerzy K. Kulski, Habiba S. AlSafar, Aurelie Mawart, Andreas Henschel, Guan K. Tay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The high degree of polymorphism of the HLA system provides suitable genetic markers to study the diversity and migration of different world populations and is beneficial for forensic identification, anthropology, transplantation and disease associations. Although the United Arab Emirates (UAE) population of about nine million people is heterogeneous, information is limited for the HLA class I allele and haplotype frequencies of the Bedouin ethnic group. We performed low-resolution PCR-SSP genotyping of three HLA class I loci at HLA-A, -B and -C for 95 unrelated healthy Bedouins from the cities of Al Ain and Abu Dhabi in the UAE. A total of 54 HLA allele lineages were detected; the most frequent low-resolution allele lineages at each HLA locus were A*02 (0.268), B*51 (0.163) and C*07 (0.216). The inferred estimates for the two most frequent HLA-A and HLA-B haplotypes were HLA-A*02 ~ HLA-B*50 (0.070) and HLA-A*02 ~ HLA-B*51 (0.051), and the most frequent 3-locus haplotype was HLA-A*02 ~ HLA-B*50 ~ HLA-C*06 (0.068). The HLA allele lineage frequencies of the UAE Arabs were compared to those previously reported for 70 other world populations, and a strong genetic similarity was detected between the UAE Arabs and the Saudi Arabians from the west with evidence of a limited gene flow between the UAE Arabs and Pakistani across the Gulf from the east, and the UAE Arabs and Omani from the south of the Gulf Peninsula.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)152-159
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Immunogenetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • alleles frequencies
  • Arabian population
  • haplotype frequencies
  • HLA-A
  • HLA-B
  • HLA-C
  • MHC class I
  • middle East
  • phylogenetic tree
  • population genetics


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