Six blood groups (Rh, MN, Duffy, Kidd, Kell, and Lutheran) were investigated among three major ethnic groups (Bosniaks, Bosnian Croats, and Bosnian Serbs), as well as 10 regional subpopulations across Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H): Krajina; Posavina; northeastern, eastern, middle, and central Bosnia; Sarajevo region; eastern, central, and western Herzegovina. This is the first study that introduces the molecular genetic typing of five blood groups within the B&H population, with the exception of the RhD blood group. The sample consisted of 450 buccal swabs from unrelated individuals. Five blood group systems (RhD, RhC, RhE, Kidd, MN) were genotyped by PCR with sequence specific primers, while three blood group systems (Kell, Duffy, Lutheran) were genotyped by the PCR-restriction-fragment-length polymorphism method. Minor variation of genetic diversity was observed within the three major B&H ethnic groups, as well as within the 10 subpopulations stratified according to geographical criteria. No genetic differentiation among ethnic groups was noticed. These results are in agreement with the results of previous studies based on different molecular genetics markers, which indicate that the three B&H ethnic groups belong to the same gene pool. A similar level of genetic variance was observed within regional subpopulations, with no significant genetic differentiation among them. Comparison of intrapopulation genetic diversity of the B&H population with other European and non-European populations, based on three loci (RHD, MN, and KEL), clearly show that the level of genetic diversity of the B&H population is within the European range.
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Vol. 92 • No. 2