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A mutant allele of the β-chemokine receptor gene CCR5 bearing a 32-basepair (bp) deletion that prevents cell invasion by the primary transmitting strain of HIV-1 has recently been characterized. Individuals homozygous for the mutation are resistant to infection, even after repeated high-risk exposure, but this resistance appears not absolute, as isolated cases of HIV-positive deletion homozygotes are emerging. The consequence of the heterozygous state is not clear, but it may delay the progression to AIDS in infected individuals. In order to evaluate the frequency distribution of CCR5-Δ32 polymorphism among Egyptians, a total of 200 individuals (154 from Ismailia and 46 from Sinai) were tested. Only two heterozygous individuals from Ismailia carried the CCR5-Δ32 allele (0.6%), and no homozygous (Δ32/Δ32) individuals were detected among the tested samples. The presence of the CCR5-Δ32 allele among Egyptians may be attributed to the admixture with people of European descent. Thus we conclude that the protective deletion CCR5-Δ32 is largely absent in the Egyptian population. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Mutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis

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