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J Infect Dis. 1997 Oct;176(4):1093-6.

CCR5 genotypes in sexually active couples discordant for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection status.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6060, USA.


Persons who are homozygous for the delta32 polymorphism of the CCR5 chemokine receptor gene are highly protected against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. Previous studies described 54 HIV-1-discordant couples in whom no virus transmission occurred despite extensive sexual contact. The possible role of the delta32 polymorphism in the lack of HIV-1 transmission between these partners was studied. No participants were homozygous for the delta32 allele, but the proportion that was heterozygous was higher among HIV-1-seronegative than HIV-1-seropositive partners (28% vs. 11%, P = .05). This association was seen in heterosexual couples (P = .03) but not in homosexual couples (P = .74). Among white persons, who are most likely to carry the delta32 allele, 38.9% of HIV-1-uninfected and 5.6% of HIV-1-infected heterosexual partners were heterozygous (P = .04). These data are consistent with a possible association between the heterozygous delta32 genotype in heterosexual sex partners and partial protection against HIV-1 infection, and they emphasize the importance of analyzing different risk groups in studies of host factors that influence infection.

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