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Bone Marrow Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 136087, 13 pages
Research Article

Human Leukocyte Antigen Profiles of Latin American Populations: Differential Admixture and Its Potential Impact on Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

1Clinical Research Group, The Anthony Nolan Research Institute, Royal Free & University College Medical School, London NW3 2QG, UK
2University College London Cancer Institute, London WC1E 6DD, UK
3Centro de Investigaciones en Hematología y Trastornos Afines (CIHATA), Universidad de Costa Rica, 11501-2060 San José, Costa Rica
4Haemato-Oncology Research Unit, Division of Molecular Pathology, The Institute of Cancer Research, London SM2 5NG, UK

Received 6 August 2012; Accepted 12 October 2012

Academic Editor: Colette Raffoux

Copyright © 2012 Esteban Arrieta-Bolaños et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The outcome of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is shaped by both clinical and genetic factors that determine its success. Genetic factors including human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and non-HLA genetic variants are believed to influence the risk of potentially fatal complications after the transplant. Moreover, ethnicity has been proposed as a factor modifying the risk of graft-versus-host disease. The populations of Latin America are a complex array of different admixture processes with varying degrees of ancestral population proportions that came in different migration waves. This complexity makes the study of genetic risks in this region complicated unless the extent of this variation is thoroughly characterized. In this study we compared the HLA-A and HLA-B allele group profiles for 31 Latin American populations and 61 ancestral populations from Iberia, Italy, Sub-Saharan Africa, and America. Results from population genetics comparisons show a wide variation in the HLA profiles from the Latin American populations that correlate with different admixture proportions. Populations in Latin America seem to be organized in at least three groups with (1) strong Amerindian admixture, (2) strong Caucasian component, and (3) a Caucasian-African gradient. These results imply that genetic risk assessment for HSCT in Latin America has to be adapted for different population subgroups rather than as a pan-Hispanic/Latino analysis.