Anthropological Studies among Libyans. Erythrocyte Genetic Factors, Serum Haptoglobin Phenotypes and Anthropometry K. KAMEL,’J M. ’UMAR,* W. IBRAHIM,’ A. MANSOUR,2 F. GABALLAH?.’ 0. SELIM,’ A. AZIM,’ S. HAMZA,’ F. SABRY,’ N . MOAFY,’ A. EL-NAGGAR AND K. HOERMAN 1 Clinical Pathology Department, Ain-Shams University Medical School, Cairo, The Arab Republic of Egypt; 3Anatomy Department, Cairo University Medical School, Cairo; 2 Ministry of Health, Tripoli, The Libyan Arab Republic; and 4 Division of Biophysics, American Dental Association, Chicago, lllinois ’ KEY WORDS 6-PGD . AK . Libya . Hbvariants . G6-PD AP . Hp . Anthropometry. . ABOandRh 1 ABSTRACT Anthropological studies were done on 1276 Libyans from the Mediterranean cities of Tripoli and Benghazi, and from Sabha southward in The Sahara. The incidences of hemoglobin (Hb)-S and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency were low in the coastal areas and significantly high in Sabha. Hb-C occurred sporadically in Tripoli and Sabha, and was absent from Benghazi in the east. One case of Hb-J Benghazi was noted. There were no significant differences in the ABO blood group and Rho (D) type distributions in the three localities. GB-PD gene GdAfrequency was significantly high in Sabha. The lowest value of 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6-PGD) gene PGDA frequency and highest value of the gene PGDC were in Sabha. Adenylate kinase (AK) gene AKZ was only detectable in Tripoli. Acid phosphatase (AP) gene Pa frequency in Sabha was more than twice that in Tripoli and Benghazi, while P‘ was distinctly lower in Sabha than in the northern cities. Haptoglobin gene Hp’ frequency was almost identical in all areas. Anthropometric measurements revealed overall homogeneity of the three samples, closer similarity in the coastal region to adjacent North African populations, and Negroid influence in the Saharan Libyans. Anthropometry substantiated findings from blood markers. The name “Libya” came from the Ancient Egyptian. Egyptian inscriptions of the second millenium B.C. described the tribes of the desert west of the Nile Valley as “Lebu” or “Rebu” (Wright, ’69). The Libyan Arab Republic (Libya) is located on the southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central coast of Africa occupying an area of 680,000 square miles (Wright, ’69). The country has traditionally been composed of three provinces : Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fazzan, whose capitals are, respectively, Tripoli and Benghazi on the coast, and Sabha southward in The Sahara (fig. 1 ) . By the end of the Old Stone Age, about 10,000 years ago, the Libyans were memAM. J. PHYS. ANTHROP.,43: 103-112, bers of a “Mediterranean” stock (Wright, ’69). Neolithic farmers may have drifted into North Africa from Caucasia, southern Arabia and Palestine (Copeland, ’67). Contacts with Old Kingdom Egypt not long after 3000 B.C. (Wright, ’69) must have exerted early genetic influences on “The Libyans.” Further biologic impressions were made by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines and Turks (Wright, ’69). Masses of pure Arab migrants from the Arabian peninsula came 5 Dr. K. Kamel‘s present address: The Military Hospital, P. 0. Box 309, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 6 Dr. F. Gaballah undertook the anthropometric studies. His present address is: Department of Anatomy, Benghazi Faculty of Medicine, The Libyan Arab Republic. 103 32 26 I LIBYA 0 - BOUNDARIES CAPITALS 20 _ _ _ _ M- E R I D I A N S rm ROADS ' I Fig. 1 Map of The Libyan Arab Republic. Cities of sampling are marked by arrows. 0 ! I%rn I in waves over the centuries (Khadduri, '63; Wright, '69) and have left the northern part of the country, especially Cyrenaica, (culturally) one of the most genuinely Arab countries outside the Arabian peninsula (Wright, '69). In 1971, the estimated population of Libya was 2 million with 90% living on the coast. The population of Tripoli and Benghazi are 247,000 (1968 estimate) and I -2 137,000 (1964 estimate), respectively (Department of State, '72). The whole province of Fazzan in the South has barely 70,000 inhabitants (Wright, '69). The northern population share common Mediterranean, Arab features, while southern people have a darker complexion and some show negroid features. Upon the announcement of the Confederation of Arab Republics in 1971 and the 105 BLOOD MARKERS AND ANTHROPOMETRY AMONG LIBYANS expected merger of Egypt and Libya, it became of interest to obtain some anthropological data on the Libyans before the anticipated commixture. 6 Y E E1" 'P 223 8 O m 0 no0 5 0 0 18 r( u MATERIAL AND METHODS School children (boys and girls) between the ages of 6 and 12 years made up the study population from Tripoli, Benghazi and Sabha, Heparinized I.V. blood specimens, 1276 in all, were collected and transferred by air to Ain-Shams University Medical School Laboratories in Cairo with minimal delay. The following tests were performed: Hemoglobin (Hb) variants, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase ( G-6-PD ) deficiency screening, ABO blood groups and Rho (D) types, and electrophoretic types of erythrocyte G-GPD, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6-PGD), adenylate kinase (AK), acid phosphatase (AP) and serum haptoglobins (Hp). Anthropometric measurements were made on 324 adult males from the same localities and unrelated to the children. Methods adopted in these studies are standard ones referred to elsewhere (Azim et al., '74; Ibrahim et al., '74; Selim et al., '74). The numbers of samples tested from different provinces for specific data are indicated in respective tables. The sex of tested individuals is specified where necessary. Because the majority of the population live on the sea shores, and due to the heterogeneity of results obtained from littoral compared to Saharan southern areas, data on samples from the three groups were not pooled. 6 8 2 E k 2 6 ElE 81" " gu E 8 2 E k 2 RESULTS Results on Hb variants and G-6-PD deficiency are shown in table 1. Table 2 details phenotypes of blood markers and the gene frequencies are presented in table 3. Anthropometric measurements are reported in table 4 and their comparative values obtained by the "t-test" are listed in table 5. z m m (D DISCUSSION HemogZobin variants The small incidence of Hb-AS heterozygotes in the Libyan shore dwellers (table 1 ) is still a little more than its frequency of 0.0038 in the adjacent Egyptian coast (Sabry, '73), and a little less than its over- P 3: IS (D 2 a 3 % lnv) 106 K. KAMEL E T AL. all incidence in Tunisia, Algeria and Mo- dromes from this part of the Mediterrocco (Livingstone, '67). Hb-S has occa- ranean shores. sionally been reported from the Egyptian G-6-PD deficiency Nile Valley (Abbasy, '51), but it was abThe incidence of G-6-PD deficiency was sent in surveys carried out there (Kamel et al., '60; Awny et al., '65; Kamel, '68; low on the Libyan coast (table 1). Like Azim et al., '74). Hb-S incidence thus de- Hb-S, the high incidence of G-6-PD deficreases in North Africa from the west east- ciency in Sabha undoubtedly reflects conward. The higher incidence of Hb-AS in tact influence from countries further to the the southern province of Fazzan (Sabha) south such as Nigeria and Ghana where is due to its adjacency to the Central Sa- the deficiency is high (Livingstone, '67). haran areas where Hb-S frequency reaches The observed incidences of G-6-PD defi0.278 (Cabannes and Ruffi6, '61). The ciency in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania is same trend of increasing rates of Hb-AS similar to the values of 0.0232 (Kamal et as one moves southward, exists in the al., '67) and 0.049 (McCaffrey and Awny, rest of North Africa west of Libya (Ben- '70) noted in Egypt. Favism has sporadiabadji et al., '69). In some Western Desert cally been reported from Tunisia and MoEgyptian oases with close contact to sub- rocco, and in the whole of Algeria, G-6-PD Saharan caravan routes, Hb-AS ranges deficiency is 0.03 (Benabadji et al., '69). from 0.054 (Selim et al., '74) to 0.2217 The occurrence of the enzyme deficiency (Ibrahim et al., '74). Hb-S is found in var- among Arabs and Europeans from various iable numbers in other Arab and Mediter- localities is extremely variable (Livingranean communities. stone, '67). The scarcity of Hb-AC in Libya follows ABO blood groups and Rh, types the same pattern of the rest of North Africa west of the country (Benabadji et al., '69). There were no significant differences in The absence of Hb-C in people from the the gene frequencies of both systems reeastern city of Benghazi is worthy of note. spectively among the three localities (taReports of only two families with Hb-C bles 2, 3). have come from Egypt: one was from Siwa ( a ) ABO Blood Groups : Gene frequency oasis near the Libyan border (Ibrahim et 0 was commonest, followed by A then B . al., '74), and the other was from Upper In Egypt the following ranges have been Egypt (Kamel et al., '67). Only occasional reported on the frequency of these genes: instances of Hb-C were reported from the 0 = 0.6001-0.6959, A = 0.1892-0.2505, Eastern Mediterranean and from other and B = 0.095G0.1723 (Awny and Kamel, Caucasians (Kamel et al., '67; Livingstone, '59; Awny et al., '65; Azim et al., '74; Ibra'67). Thus Hb-C extension from the Volta him et al., '74; Selim et al., '74). In Alregion in West Africa northward and east- geria, Tunisia, and Morocco, 0, A and ward is minimal and gradually fading B genes ranges respectively are: 0.626(Lehmann and Nwokolo, '59; Cabannes 0.688; 0.193-0.253; and 0.117-0.118 (Benand RuffiC, '6 1) . abadji and Chamla, '71). The similarity A fast Hb designated Hb-J Benghazi was between these values is striking. There is found in the heterozygous form in one sub- a large difference, however, in gene freject (table 1). From the Mediterranean quencies of this system from various parts basin, Hb-J had been detected only in Al- of the Mediterranean basin, Europe, and geria and Italy (Benabadji et al., '69). Africa (Mourant, '54). Amino acid analyses, however, are not (b) Rho Types: Mansour ('73) had obavailable for the identification of all these served a mildly higher frequency than the cases of Hb-J. present one for r in Tripoli ranging from The absence of p-thalassemia, and prob- 0.30-0.35. In isolated communities of ably of a-thalassemia as may be indicated Egypt r has ranged from 0-0.3321 (Azim by the absence of Hb-H, demonstrated in et al., '74; Ibrahim et al., '74; Selim et al., this work and in a previous one (Weather- '74), and in Egyptians in general it ranges all et al., '71) points to the extreme rarity, from 0.1590 (El-Dewi, '49) to 0.243 (Doneif not absence, of the thalassemia syn- gagni et al., '50). In Tunisians r varies 107 BLOOD MARKERS AND ANTHROPOMETRY AMONG LIBYANS TABLE 2 Libyan phenotypes of some blood markers Benghazi Tripoli Sabha Number Frequency Number Frequency Number Frequency ABO A B AB 0 Total 235 113 34 341 723 0.3250 0.1563 0.0470 0.4716 0.9999 102 61 11 144 318 0.3208 0.1918 0.0346 0.4528 1.0000 50 29 8 86 173 0.2890 0.1676 0.0462 0.4971 0.9999 Rh Rho + RhoTotal 677 46 723 0.9364 0.0636 1.0000 304 14 318 0.9560 1.0000 166 7 173 0.9595 0.0405 1.oooo A+ B+ Total 5 139 144 0.0347 0.9653 1.0000 7 135 142 0.0493 0.9507 1.0000 18 92 110 0.1636 0.8364 1.0000 AA AC 0.9110 0.0822 0.0068 1.0000 123 18 0.8723 0.1277 Total 133 12 1 146 141 1.0000 81 20 2 103 0.7864 0.1942 0.0194 1.0000 AK 1 AK 2-1 Total 97 1 98 0.9898 0.0102 1.0000 100 1.0000 - - 87 1.oooo 100 1.0000 87 1.0000 AA BB 9 71 1 8 0.0989 0.7802 0.0110 0.0879 1 69 4 23 21 50 1 9 - 0.2593 0.6173 2 91 0.0220 1.0000 - 0.0102 0.7041 0.0408 0.2347 0.0102 98 1.0000 1 81 0.0123 1.0000 24 64 45 133 0.1805 0.4812 0.3383 1.oooo 17 51 34 102 0.1667 0.5000 0.3333 1.0000 18 42 31 91 0.1978 0.4615 0.3407 1.0000 G-SPD (males) 6-PGD cc AK AP cc AB AC BC Total - 1-1 2-1 2-2 Total HP - TABLE 3 - - 0.0440 - - - - 0.1111 Tripoli Benghazi Sabha ABO A B 0 0.2074 0.1074 0.6852 0.1980 0.1211 0.6809 0.1843 0.1131 0.7026 from 0.261-0.292, in Algerians from 0.228 -0.420, and in Moroccans from 0.2340.547 (Benabadji and Chamla, '71). European and Negro ranges of r are respectively 0.1972-0.6500, and 0.1803-0.41 77 (Mourant, '54). Rh r 0.2522 0.2098 0.2010 G-6-PDelectrophoretic types GdA GdB 0.0347 0.9653 0.0493 0.9507 0.1636 0.8364 6-PGD PGDA PGDC 0.9521 0.0479 0.9362 0.0638 0.8835 0.1165 AK AKz 0.0510 0.1428 0.8352 0.0220 0.1326 0.8215 0.0459 0.3148 0.6791 0.0061 0.4211 0.5789 0.4167 0.5833 0.4285 0.5715 Libyan gene frequencies G-6-PD (males) HP HP' Hp2 GdA gene frequency was low in Tripoli and Benghazi, and high in Sabha (tables 2, 3). Gd" incidence in the two parts of coastal Libya, in itself homogeneous, is close to its 0.02-0.05 values in some parts of the Nile Valley (Azim et al., '74). Gd" in Saharan Sabha is similar to that in El-Dakhla Egyptian Saharan oasis (0.16) (Selim et al., '74). In sub-Saharan Africa this gene reaches 0.22 (Harris, '71). The local G-6-PD deficiency in The Arabian peninsula is believed to be mostly the Cau- 108 K. KAMEL ET AL. casian type (Gelpi, '65), and the Mediterranean G-6-PD has the B electrophoretic mobility (Harris, '71 ). 6-Phosphogluconate dehydrogenase types The frequencies of PGDC gene in Tripoli, Benghazi, and Sabha show divergence in the last locality (tables 2, 3). Figures from the coastal cities are similar to those in the southern part of the Egyptian Nile Valley (0.068) (Azim et al., '74) and in The Western Desert oases of El-Kharga (0.055) and El-Dakhla (0.062) (Selim et al., '74). The higher PGDC in Sabha is closer to that of 0.160 in the Egyptian Siwa oasis (Ibrahim et al., '74). The following ranges of PGDC have been reported: Europeans 0.0086-0.0392, Negroes 0.0062-0.1550, Asians 0.0250-0.2305, Arabs (South Arabians, Jordanians and Palestinians) 0.0645 -0.1098 (Tills et al., '71a). Libyan values are closer to Arab, African and Asian levels. Adenylate kinase All persons were found to have AK' gene except one from Tripoli who was AK2-1 bringing the AKZ gene frequency there to 0.051 (tables 2, 3). This rare gene has not been detected in isolated Egyptian regions where it was looked for (Azim et al., '74; Ibrahim et al., '74; Selim et al., '74). Among South Arabian, Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs, AK2 ranges from 0.0252 -0.0349. Its frequencies in European and Negro populations vary from 0.00490.0566 and 0-0.0152 respectively (Tills et al., '71b). Red cell acid phosphatase Since p" gene is the commonest, we will compare the other two (tables 2, 3). ( a ) P" gene frequency in Sabha was more than twice that in Tripoli and in Benghazi. Pa in some parts of Egypt where it was studied (Azim et al., '74; Ibrahim et al., '74; Selim et al., '74) has varied from 0.0667-0.1475. Among Europeans and Subsaharan Africans Pa ranges are 0.220.37 and 0.14-0.28, respectively (Hopkins and Harris, '69). (b) P" gene frequency was distinctly lower in Sabha than in Tripoli and Benghazi. In Egyptian localities where it has been tested, the P" gene has ranged from 0-0.0244 (Azim et al., '74; Ibrahim et al., '74; Selim et al., '74). European values for this gene are 0.01-0.07 while the African levels range from 0-0.02 (Hopkins and Harris, '69). Serum haptoglobin types Hp0-0, not uncommon in Black Africans, was not detected in any sample (tables 2, 3). Hp' values in Tripoli, Benghazi, and Sabha were almost identical. Hp' in Libyans are very close to those of Egyptians in El-Kharga oasis (0.4415) (Selim et al., '74), in Aswan City (0.4300), and in The New Nubia (0.4000) (Azim et al., '74). They are higher than the average for those in the whole Egyptian Nile Valley, 0.2123 (Hashem et al., '66) and 0.3510 (Ibrahim, '72). In European countries, Hpl values range from 0.32-0.52 (Giblett, '69), and in Northern parts of Black Africa they vary from 0.40-0.87 (Giblett, '69). Anthropometry Comparison of the Tripoli and Benghazi samples reveals their close similarity in most measurements (table 4). However, the Benghazi inhabitants tend to be slightly shorter in stature and to have a broader nose and a more mesocephalic head due to increase in breadth. Sabhans are characterized by lighter weight, smaller facial and nasal heights, broader nose and a higher nasal index than the two other groups (table 5). Nasal features of Sabhans indicate a notable Negroid element. However, in contradistinction to these mixed facial features, the measurements of the head together with the facial and bigonial breadths were very close to, although less than, those of Liioyans in Tripoli and Benghazi. Published data have been used for comparison with the present results. The confidence interval (mean 3. S.E.) of the facial, nasal and cephalic indices of the Libyan groups was used comparatively and a group was considered to differ significantly in an anthropometric trait if its mean fell outside the confidence limits of the corresponding character in our Libyan sample. ( a ) Comparison of the Benghazi data with those on Egyptians from Salloum and Sidi Barrany, an area contiguous with Libyan shores (Batrawi, '62), demonstrated * 90.16 66.11 139 140 140 139 139 140 140 139 67.15- 86.19 139 79.56105.65 140 51.72- 84.78 Head breadth Bizygomatic breadth Bigonial breadth Total facial height Nasal height Nasal breadth Cephalic index Total facial index Nasal index 74.54 117 51.67- 94.00 7.03 10.64 31- 50 68 68 79.56 99.21 68 60.66-100.00 7.96 11.82 67.36 68 69.80- 84.15 45- 61 108-132 90-114 122-148 68 68 67 68 134-158 178-210 68 68 154-184 67 40- 92 Range 5.74 4.12 8.54 7.23 4.71 5.52 3.80 3.41 3.12 3.56 68 N 5.14 3.11 3.16 3.98 5.81 5.80 5.18 5.01 6.04 5.93 19.78 C.V.2 S.D.1 C.V.2 5.17 4.11 9.53 7.94 4.64 4.96 3.61 74.25 9.94 13.38 88.85 4.60 74.80 3.08 38.56 3.67 52.61 4.14 120.56 5.60 103.58 5.14 135.40 4.89 3.58 145.31 5.21 3.85 3.46 6.43 193.15 6.69 167.01 60.00 7.38 12.29 Mean Sabha 89.60 75.50 36.96 55.00 4 6 65 105.11 136.53 146.72 193.60 166.26 123.19 30- 47 S.D.1 65.22 12.90 Mean 110-138 93-124 125-148 135-158 180-210 151-182 43-112 Range 117 66.67- 84.53 117 117 116 115 116 117 117 114 117 N 116 77.55-107.09 4.65 8.65 7.14 5.16 5.36 3.54 3.30 3.30 3.33 19.56 C.V.2 Benghazi 5.70 5.14 3.47 3.10 3.86 54.07 35.81 6.39 5.63 4.84 4.80 6.41 123.87 105.07 136.91 145.41 194.19 5.59 Measurements are in m m except when otherwise stated. 1 S.D. = Standard deviation. 2 C.V. = Coefficient of variation. 29- 44 48- 67 109-140 88-120 123-150 136-160 180-209 167.84 Head length 150-1 84 S.D.1 63.54 12.43 Mean 139 - Stature (Cm) 41- 97 Range 139 N Weight ( K g ) Character Tripoli TABLE 4 Anthropometry of adult Libyan males 110 K. KAMEL ET AL TABLE 5 Values of the t-test between the corresponding means for the Libyan series Character Weight Stature Head length Head breadth Bizygomatic breadth Bigonial breadth Total facial height Nasal height Nasal breadth Cephalic index Total facial index Nasal index 1 2 Tripoli Benghazi Tripoli and Sabha 1.06 2.16 0.46 2.12 i 2.56 0.29 1.07 0.13 ’ 3.50 0.87 0.45 1.80 0.60 2.10 I 1.48 0.06 1.89 1.85 0.89 1.89 2.93 2.33 4.18 2 3.19 2 5.33 2 0.55 3.03 4.56 3.01 1.48 0.87 1.32 1.85 5.90 2 1.02 4.88 and Benghazi and Sabha Significant (at 0.05 level). Highly significant (at 0.01 level). the basic similarity in the cranial and facial features of both populations. The people of Benghazi, however, have greater bigonial and nasal breadths and a slightly longer face. This indicates that the inhabitants of the North African Coast from Sidi Barrany in The Egyptian Western Desert inclusive, to Tripoli at least, belong to the same physical type. Differences, however, had been pointed out between Batrawi’s results and those of some other contemporary Egyptian groups available then. (b) Anthropometric data on Northwest African groups and on others from south of The Sahara (Cline, ’32)have also been compared with the current studies. The Libyan cephalic index was similar to that of about 40% of the North African groups, and to 25 to 50% of the series south of The Sahara. The facial index was similar to that of 40% of the North African populations studied and to 80% of the Nilotic tribes. The nasal index indicated no resemblances between the Libyan groups and people south of The Sahara (Western and Central Sudan and Nilotic tribes). CONCLUSIONS Anthropological studies demonstrated similarity of the coastal inhabitants of Libya to other North Africans eastward and westward. Saharan populations in southern Libya manifest Negroid influences from adjacent sub-Saharan Africa. 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