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      Identification of the CCR5-Delta32 HIV resistance allele and new mutations of the CCR5 gene in different Tunisian populations.

      Human Immunology
      Adult, Alleles, Female, Gene Frequency, Genotype, HIV Infections, genetics, immunology, transmission, virology, HIV-1, Haplotypes, Humans, Immunity, Innate, Male, Mutation, Polymorphism, Genetic, Receptors, CCR5, Tunisia

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          Abstract

          Polymorphisms in some chemokine receptor genes are associated with susceptibility to and progression of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection. Most mutations detected in the CC-chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) gene are specific to different populations. In this study, we focused on polymorphisms of the CCR5 coding region in three healthy populations from Tunisia, corresponding to a cosmopolitan population from Tunis, and two isolated Berber populations. In addition to the CCR5-Delta32 deletion, eleven single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected. Some of these point mutations were associated with the same genotype and even the same haplotype. The (L55Q-C101X), I124, V131F, T143N, A159V, I237, T239A and G301R alleles have not been described previously, whereas the CCR5-Delta32, L55Q, A335V and Y339F variants have already been reported in the literature. The distribution and frequency of these variants were different among the three groups studied, a result in agreement with the mosaic genetic structure of the Tunisian population. To determine whether these alleles affect HIV-1 transmission, we compared allele frequencies between healthy and HIV-1 infected individuals from Tunis. The frequency of the CCR5-Delta32 variant was significantly different between the two groups, leading us to conclude that this mutation might confer protection against HIV infection in Tunisian populations.

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