Comparative analysis of HLA polymorphism at the serologic and molecular level in Moroccan and Ashkenazi Jews

A. Roitberg‐Tambur, C. S. Witt, A. Friedmann, C. Safirman, L. Sherman, S. Battat, D. Nelken, C. Brautbar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Abstract: The Jewish people comprise two major groups, one encompassing the Jews of Ashkenazi (Central and Eastern European) origin and the other including those of Sephardic (Middle Eastern and North African) descent. To the latter belong the Jews of Moroccan stock, who form the largest Jewish subgroup among the non‐Ashkenazi population living in Israel. As the members of each of these groups differ in physiognomy and life style, it was of interest to investigate whether these differences are also reflected in their respective HLA compositions. To this end, 132 subjects of Ashkenazi and 113 individuals of Moroccan origin residing in Israel were tested and the results compared with data for other populations made available by the 11th International Histocompatibility Workshop. Comparison between their HLA profiles and those of non‐Jews revealed that the Jewish groups in some aspects resembled one another but in others showed disparities. The dissimilarities between the various groups are expressed in terms of gene and haplotype frequencies, as well as in HLA‐disease associations (as for example rheumatoid arthritis, erosive lichen planus, primary Sjögren's syndrome, pemphigus vulgaris). However, both Jewish groups shared some unique features with respect to HLA class II allelic frequencies, pointing to a common ancestry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-110
Number of pages7
JournalTissue Antigens
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • Ashkenazi Jew
  • HLA polymorphism
  • non‐Ashkenazi Moroccan Jew
  • oligotyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Genetics

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