Distribution of HIV/AIDS protective SDF1, CCR5 and CCR2 gene variants within Cretan population
An interesting finding in the epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is that certain mutations in genes coding for chemokine receptors and their ligands may confer resistance to HIV-1 infection and/or AIDS progression. The mutations most frequently studied are the CCR5-delta32, CCR2-64I and SDF1-3'A. We examined the frequency of the above polymorphisms within the Cretan population, evaluating their contribution to a protective genetic background against HIV infection and progression. Two hundred blood samples were recruited at random among prospective blood donors from Crete. Genotyping was initially performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. CCR2 and SDF-1 PCR-amplified genomic regions were further subjected to restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis for genotype determination. The CCR5-delta32 allele frequency among our study group was 3.25%, although no respective homozygous samples were detected. The screening for the CCR2-64I polymorphism yielded 39 heterozygous (19.5%) and 4 homozygous (2%) subjects, revealing a CCR2-64I allele frequency of 11.75%. Among our 200 PCR-RFLP analysed samples, 73 (36.5%) were found heterozygous and 23 (11.5%) homozygous for the SDF1-3'A mutant variant. The allele frequency of the above polymorphism reached 29.75%. The frequency of the CCR5-delta32 allele among our study population seems to be remarkably lower compared to previously reported frequencies in other Caucasian groups. However, the SDF1-3'A allele frequency shows significantly higher distribution profiles within our study group compared to those observed in other Caucasian-European populations. The indicated difference could be attributed to the increased homogeneity of our population, which is well balanced and dispersed over a small geographical area. Since this polymorphism is related with delayed progression from HIV infection to AIDS, it could be used for prognostic genotyping in HIV infected Cretan individuals.
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