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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Dec 9;100(25):15276-9. Epub 2003 Nov 25.

Evaluating plague and smallpox as historical selective pressures for the CCR5-Delta 32 HIV-resistance allele.

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  • 1Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. agalvani@nature.berkeley.edu

Abstract

The high frequency, recent origin, and geographic distribution of the CCR5-Delta 32 deletion allele together indicate that it has been intensely selected in Europe. Although the allele confers resistance against HIV-1, HIV has not existed in the human population long enough to account for this selective pressure. The prevailing hypothesis is that the selective rise of CCR5-Delta 32 to its current frequency can be attributed to bubonic plague. By using a population genetic framework that takes into account the temporal pattern and age-dependent nature of specific diseases, we find that smallpox is more consistent with this historical role.

PMID:
14645720
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC299980
Free PMC Article

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