African Journal of Health Sciences

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Genetic Variations and their Association with Diseases among Kenyan Ethnic Populations

JO Maina, HS Nyandieka


Human populations are polymorphic for many loci. The inhabitants of different regions of the earth can be characterised on the basis of the relative gene frequencies. These gene frequencies have been associated with certain characteristics such as disease and well being in general. This kind of relationship has not been exploited in many developing countries for the management and prevention of diseases. The aim of this study was therefore investigate the possible role genetics plays in disease, death and infections. The mode of study involved a combination of a retrospective study and the analysis of genetic variation among Kenyan ethnic populations using ABO blood group system. The results showed that there was association between allele frequencies of ABO system and disease and also mortality rates. It was also observed that populations which had high mortality rates many years back have also high infection rates of emerging diseases such as HIV. This study demonstrated that trends of mortality rates and HIV infection among Kenyan ethnic groups associated with allelic frequencies in ABO blood group system. Therefore understanding human genetics of a particular population is important in the management and prevention of diseases.

AJOL African Journals Online