The ethnic origins qualifier is used to describe the ethnic group and geographical location of the cell donor. The ethnic origin qualifier allows the user to query the ethnic group or geographical location of the cell donor. This can be used in population genetics studies of the HLA alleles. The origin of the cell donor can be used to infer which alleles are found in particular ethnic groups, and the geographical spread of HLA alleles.
The previous database used basically a free text field for the ethnic origin qualifier. The new database has revised this using a tree structure to allow a more consistent method of recording the origin and to improve the query options available. The basic structure of the qualifier is shown below.
General Form Ethnic Group - Tribe or Local Area, Country, Region
The first part of the qualifier represents the general ethnic group of the cell donor. This splits all entries into 9 groups, providing a general classification of the major ethnic origin of the cell.
|American Indian||Peoples resident in the Americas before the arrival of Europeans|
|Australian Aboriginal||Pre-European inhabitants of Australia|
|Black||People whose historical origin is sub-Saharan Africa|
|Caucasoid||People with historical origins in Europe, North Africa or Southwestern Asia, including India|
|Hispanic||People historically of mixed Mediterranean Caucasoid, American Indian race.|
|Mixed||Cell donor is of mixed race, the qualifier will where possible provide further details|
|Oriental||People with historical origins in East Asia.|
|Pacific Islander||Aboriginal inhabitants of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia|
|Unknown||Ethnic origin of the cell donor is unknown|
These broader groupings allow more general queries on the field. The second part of the qualifier details the regional information including local area or tribal group, country and geographic region. This second set of qualifiers permits a more specialised query on particular groups or tribes, and on particular countries or continents. Further examples are shown below.
- Terena Indians, Brazil would be listed as American Indian - Terena, Brazil, South America
- Italian would be listed as Caucasoid - Italy, Europe
- Luo Tribe, Kenya would be listed as Black - Luo, Kenya, East Africa
Due to structure of the qualifier it is possible to query the database at a number of levels. The user can make general queries on the ethnic group or more specialised queries on a particular country or region. The structure of all entries means that the query can easily be constructed as all entries follow a standard format. Once the user is used to the simple structure they can begin to construct more advanced queries. Examples of queries are shown below.
|Search Parameters||Query Entered|
|Cells of a particular ethnic group e.g. Caucasoid||Caucasoid*|
|Cells from a particular tribe or region e.g. Jaidukama||*Jaidukama*|
|Cells from a particular country e.g. Nigeria||*Nigeria*|
|Cells from a particular region e.g. Europe||*Europe|
More complex queries can then be built up from these by using the wildcards (*) in the standard entry structure. For instance to retrieve all the cells of all South American Indians, you would enter "American Indian*South America". This would then provide all hits to this group.