, 2004; Zhekova, 2006a, b). In the medieval centuries, Haskovo was an important albeit not unique trade center. PD98059 After the Balkan Wars, in 1913, a large Bulgarian minority from the Northern Greek Trakia immigrated and settled in Haskovo and the region. However, one should note that ST125 strains were not reported in Greece; this may
suggest a long-term specific circulation of this spoligotype in the Haskovo area since at least the 19th century. On the other hand, it is worth noting that MIRU-VNTR loci might evolve independently of the DR region, which may also result in an apparent controversial phylogeography of certain clones. Accordingly, another and completely opposite explanation of the pattern observed in MST in Fig. 3 is a convergent evolution of the VNTR loci toward a signature found in T1. Consequently, it could present not the ancestral, but the most recent variant within ST125 type. A question that may arise is why/whether the local human population in Bulgaria so differs from the neighbors
in surrounding countries that this could explain that a specific pathogenic bacterial strain (ST125) would be adapted uniquely to them. The analysis of both mtDNA and Y-chromosome markers revealed a homogeneity of Balkan populations while Bulgarians significantly differed from Turks and showed closer relationships with other South Slavonic populations (Zaharova et al., 2001; Bosch et al., 2006; Pereira et PI3K Inhibitor Library order al., 2009). Comparison in the wider European and Asian context revealed that Bulgarians are close to Western Europeans. Two major and ancient East–West expansions could account for this: the occupation of Europe by anatomically modern humans about 40 000 ya and the diffusion of agriculture into Europe in the Neolithic, 10 000–4000 ya (Calafell et al., 1996). In this view, neutral
mtDNA and Y-chromosome markers can hardly be exploited to explain host–microbial interaction leading to adaptation of the microbial genotypes to particular ethnic groups. In contrast, a study of genetic variations in human genes encoding key components of the immune system (e.g. TNF, VDR, DC-SIGN, NRAMP1/SLC11A1) and found to increase/reduce susceptibility to TB in certain ethnic groups (Bellamy, 2005) might provide interesting PTK6 insights. Recently, it has been shown that some M. tuberculosis genotypes may influence the clinical disease phenotype and demonstrated a significant interaction between host and bacterial genotypes and the development of disseminated tuberculosis (Caws et al., 2008). Unfortunately, no information on human genes related to differential susceptibilities to tuberculosis has been published for the Bulgarian population as yet. This limits further speculations about host-related factors responsible for the high rate of ST125 in Bulgaria.