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Blood groups of Roms (Gypsies) in Czechoslovakia.

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Blood Groups of Roms (Gypsies) in Czechoslovakia
I. BERNASOVSK~, J. SUCHP,~
K. BERNASOVSKA AND T. VARGOVA
P. J. Safarik University, KoSice, Czechoslovakia, 1 Charles University,
Prague, Czechoslovakia
K E Y WORDS
Blood groups
Roms (Gypsies)
.
Czechoslovakia.
ABSTRACT
Blood groups in 2,935 Fbms (Gypsies) of East Slovakia show
the following frequencies of phenotypes and genes: A,A,BO phenotypes: A l 32.91%,A,-2.42%,B-25.21%,O-30.15%,A,B-8.459/,AA,B-O0.85%,
A l -0.2363, Az - 0.0217, B - 0.1929, 0 -0.5491.
MN phenotypes: M 27.16%, MN-51.60%,
N-221.23%;
m-0.5297,
n - 0.4703. R H phenotypes: R h positive -89.54 % , Rh negative - 10.46%; Rh - (D) - 0.6766,
Rh (d) 0.3234. The frequencies are contrasted with those of other inhabitants,
non-Roms of East Slovakia.
Various lines of evidence, especially linguistic (Grellmann, 1787; Pott, 1845) prove
that Roms (Gypsies) came from Central
India where as the socially weaker part of
the population, they yielded to pressure of
stronger and economically more developed
strains. Obliged to look for a livelihood i n
the north of the country they came to Punjab. Owing to the Arab invasions they left
India during the seventh and eighth centuries and made their way to Europe
through the Balkans and through North
Africa. Reports of their stay in the domain of present Czechoslovakia appeared
i n the fourteenth century (Horvathova, '64;
Such+, '68a).
Although traditionally considered nomads the Roms up to the present time have
nearly all been settlers (Suchy and Hubschmannova, '74). Despite the fact that
Roms have been living in h4iddle Europe
for several centuries, they have maintained
a very marked biological and cultural distinctness.
Previous research workers studied the
Roms in Czechoslovakia from the physical
and anthropological point of view (Suchy,
'64, '68a,b, '73; Benek, '68; Suchy and
Mala, '69; Mala and Such+, '70; Bernasovsky and Bernasovska, '75; Bernasovska et
al., '75). Frequencies of the blood groups
A1A2B0, MN and Rh i n Roms living in
Czechoslovakia not previously reported are
the subject of this communication.
AM. J .
PHYS ANTHROP.,45: 277-280
MATERIALS AND METHODS
According to the report of the Federal
Statistical Office 226,468 Roms lived i n
Czechoslovakia i n 1968; of 88,943 in East
Slovakia, we examined 2,935.
The following reagents were used for
blood typing: For ABO, standard diagnostic
sera (OTH KoSice); for subgroups Al and
An, anti-Al, anti-H lectin sera (USOL,
Prague); for MN, anti-M and anti-N sera
(USOL, Prague); and for Rh, anti-Rho (D)
and incomplete anti-D" serum (Immuno,
Vienna). Agglutinins in serum were determined using known blood cells.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The phenotype and gene frequencies of
the A I A 2 B 0 , MN and Rh systems of Roms
from East Slovakia are given in table 1.
According to ~2 values the observed frequencies agree with those expected under
the Hardy-Weinberg law.
The frequencies of these blood types in
non-Roms of East Slovakia are as shown.
Statistically significant differences are more
group B (P < 0,001) and fewer subgroups
AI,A2,A2Bin Roms (P < 0.001, P < 0.05,
and P < 0.05, respectively).
No statistically significant differences in
MN types were found between Roms and
non-Roms in East Slovakia. The high freI
I n honor of the memory of Prof. J . Suchy, who died
August 28, 1975.
277
278
I. BERNASOVSKY, J . SUCHY, K. BERNASOVSKA AND T. VARGOVA
TABLE 1
The p e r c e n t a g e f r e q u e n r y of p h e n o t y p e s a n d g e n e
f r e q u e n c y of blood g r o u p s y s t e m s AlAzBO, M N a n d
Rh in Roms, r o m p a r e d w i t h Slovak non-Roma
from the East Slovnkzn district
Phenotypes
No
Ai
A2
B
0
A1B
AzB
Number
M
MN
N
Number
R h o + (D)
Rho - id)
Number
Rom s
Present
study
(Percent)
Slovaks
Smalik
('65)
(Percent)
966
71
740
885
248
25
2,935
32.91
2.42
25.21
30.15
8.45
0.85
36.94 2
3.49 1
19.69 2
30.93
7.61
1.34
22468
110
209
86
405
27.16
51.60
21.23
28.16
53.54
18.30
1541
2,628
30 7
2,935
89.54
10.46
85.81
14.19
22468
Genes
0.2363
0.0217
0.1929
0.5491
0.5297
0.4703
0.6766
0.3234
A1
A2
B
0
m
n
D
d
1
p S 0.05.
2
p
0.2553
0.0332
0.1553
0.5561
0.5493
0.4507
0.6223
0.3767
< 0.001
quency of Rh positive in Roms is significantly different from non-Roms(P < 0.001).
The seroanthropological research on
Roms is the subject of study of many authors. Early works describe only ABO systems (Mourant et al., '58). Later works
added the Rh and k1N systems and subgroups of the ABO system (CaLal et al., '51;
Beckman et al., '65; HoEevar, '65; Rex-Kiss
et al.,'73). Our A l A 2 B 0 , M N and Rh results i n Roms agree with data of Rex-Kiss
et al. ('73) on the Hungarian Roms, but
other foreign groups differ considerably.
These discrepancies may be explained by
the fact that the foreign Roms form small
isolated groups consisting of few families
i n which gene frequency could be affected
by random genetic drift.
Serological proof of a n Indian origin of
Roms was shown by many authors (Verzkr
and Weszeczky, '21; Ely, '61; Beckman et
al., '65; Gdikova et al., '69; Rex-Kiss et al.,
'73). The increased frequencies of genes B
and Rho (D) in Czechoslovak Roms gave
evidence for their Indian origin. Our observed frequencies of these genes axe lower
than the Indian data (Boyd and Boyd, '54;
Mourant et al., '58; Ghosh, '69) probably
due to increased mixing with the recent
decline i n segregation and more assimilation of Roms.
LITERATURE CITED
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BLOOD GROUPS OF ROMS (GYPSIES) IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA
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