Population study of First Nations Communities and the Quebec population to determine HLA frequencies and common and rare haplotypes
The determination of HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) is of crucial importance for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The wide variability of the HLA system has some progressive advantages, but can make the search for compatible donors more complex for specific populations. While populations in the regions of Quebec were characterized several years ago for the HLA system, First Nations communities were not included in this study. Lack of HLA characterization of these communities may have important clinical implications, in access to care (e.g., stem cell transplantation), but is also of interest at the anthropological level (understanding the evolutionary differences of the First Nations of Quebec).
This project will aim to estimate the differences in allele frequencies across communities. In addition to comparing HLA frequencies within First Nations communities, we will also compare those to frequencies observed in the Quebec population, as well as nationally and worldwide. This work is expected to enhance our appreciation of complexity and specificity of HLA data of the diverse population of Quebec.