Distribution of the CCR5 gene 32-base pair deletion in Israeli ethnic groups

Rami Kantor*, Jonathan M. Gershoni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The discovery of inhibition of HIV-1 by selected chemokines and their receptors instills hope in AIDS researchers, especially because a 32-bp deletion in the chemokine receptor CCR5 (Δ32-CCR5) provides resistance to HIV infection. A recent report found that the highest Δ32-CCR5 frequency is among Ashkenazi Jews (20.93%). In the present study, we have determined by PCR the allelic frequency of Δ32-CCR5 in 520 individuals representing a spectrum of ethnic groups living in Israel. The samples were obtained from the Israeli National Laboratory of Genetic Diversity. Our results showed that Ashkenazi Jews, as to be expected, have the highest frequency (10.19%), yet not significantly higher than that which has been reported for whites of European decent. Other ethnic groups, North African Jews, non-Jews, Middle Eastern Jews, and Ethiopian Jews, gave allelic frequencies of 2.08, 1.35, 1.15, and 0, respectively. Thus, the Δ32-CCR5 mutation is found in Jews with the same allelic frequency as that found for residents of their countries of origin. Therefore, it appears that the Δ32-CCR5 allele has been introduced into Jewish communities world wide through intermarriage and genetic drift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-84
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999


  • AIDS
  • CCR5
  • Epidemiology
  • Ethnic groups
  • HIV
  • Israelis


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