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Am J Med Genet. 2001 Apr 1;99(4):325-7.

High prevalence of complement C7 deficiency among healthy blood donors of Moroccan Jewish ancestry.

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Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.


The incidence of the specific component deficiencies in various ethnic groups is not known, although there appears to be an ethnic predilection for C6 and C8alpha-gamma deficiencies in blacks, whereas C7 and C8beta deficiencies are predominantly noted in Caucasians. Infectious diseases, particularly recurrent meningococcal infections, are observed more commonly with late component deficiencies. In the current study, we have simplified the PCR technique by using site-directed mutagenesis and designer primers in a cohort of Israeli Moroccan Jewish blood donors to ascertain allele frequency in this ethnic group, which, based on earlier studies, was considered to be at risk for C7 deficiency. The total mutant allele frequency in this ethnic cohort was 1.1% of a total of 365 healthy Israeli Moroccan Jews, including one homozygote. The identification of mutant alleles was efficient and inexpensive, and hence a large cohort was studied. The finding of complement deficiency identifies individuals at risk for Neisserial infections, which are known to be potentially life-threatening. Conversely, when a patient of Moroccan ancestry is diagnosed with a Neisserial infection, it is important to determine the complement status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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