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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2010 Dec;65(12):2614-9. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkq369. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Tribal ethnicity and CYP2B6 genetics in Ugandan and Zimbabwean populations in the UK: implications for efavirenz dosing in HIV infection.

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Division of Biomedical Sciences, St George's, University of London, London, UK.



To determine differences in CYP2B6 loss of function (LoF) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotypes between Zimbabweans and Ugandans, and within Ugandan populations (Bantu and Nilotic).


Genetic epidemiological study enrolling adult black African Ugandan and Zimbabwean patients attending a UK HIV-1 clinic, irrespective of antiretroviral therapy status. Genomic DNA was extracted from whole blood and the presence of CYP2B6 alleles was determined by direct sequencing of all nine exons of the CYP2B6 gene. Blood was also collected, where appropriate, for determination of efavirenz concentrations. Frequency of SNPs in all patients and LoF haplotype frequencies were calculated. The relationship between the number of LoF haplotype alleles possessed and efavirenz trough concentration (ETC) was determined.


Thirty-six Zimbabweans and 74 Ugandans (58 Bantu and 16 Nilotic) were recruited. The definite haplotypes determined were *6, *18, *20 and *27 as LoF and *4 as gain of function. Among those with definite genotypes, the frequency of LoF alleles was 65% [95% confidence interval (95% CI): 51-80] of Zimbabweans versus 22% (95% CI: 12-31) of Ugandan Bantus (P = 10(-6)) and versus 39% (95% CI: 14-64) of Ugandan Nilotics (P = 0.09). Among the 19 patients with definite genotype and with available ETCs, log ETCs were associated with a greater number of LoF haplotype alleles [848 ng/mL (n = 12), 1069 ng/mL (n = 4) and 1813 ng/mL (n = 3) for 0, 1 or 2 LoF haplotypes, respectively (P = 0.016)].


Among Zimbabweans, LoF haplotypes constitute the majority of CYP2B6 alleles and are significantly higher in prevalence compared with Ugandans. Frequencies of LoF haplotypes and SNPs in Ugandan Nilotics appear to lie between those of Zimbabweans and Ugandan Bantus. These findings may have relevance to pharmacokinetics and dosing of efavirenz in African populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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