Class II HLA in Georgia Caucasus Tbilisi Georgians and their Mediterranean ancestry: The Usko Mediterranean languages

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Georgia (or Sakartvelo in its own language) is a South Caucasus Mts. country with its easternmost part is enigmatically named Iberia, like the Iberian Peninsula, which may refer to rivers “Kura” and “Ebro” or their valleys respectively. Most of their inhabitants speak Georgian which is included within Dene-Caucasian group and Usko-Mediterranean subgroup of languages. The latter includes Basque, Berber, ancient Iberian-Tartessian, Etruscan, Hittite, Minoan Lineal A and others. In the present paper, HLA class II -DRB1 and -DQB1 alleles has been studied and extended haplotypes calculated. Most frequent haplotypes are also of Mediterranean origin (i. e.: (A*02-B*51)-DRB1*11:01-DQB1*03:01, (A*02-B*51)-DRB1*13:01-DQB1*06:03, or (A*24-B*35)-DRB1*01:01-DQB1*05:01) and DA genetic distances show that closest world populations to Georgians are Mediterraneans. Georgians also show common extended haplotypes ((A*02-B*51)-DRB1*11:01-DQB1*03:01, (A*02-B*13)-DRB1*07:01-DQB1*02:01 and (A*03-B*35)-DRB1*11:01-DQB1*03:01) with Svan people, a secluded population in North Georgia mountains. We can conclude that Georgians belong to a very old Mediterranean substratum according to both linguistics (Usko Mediterranean languages) and HLA genetics.
CRUE-CSIC (Acuerdos Transformativos 2022)