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Screening for Y-chromosome microdeletions in a population of infertile males in the Gaza Strip

Screening for Y-chromosome microdeletions in a population of infertile males in the Gaza Strip

Journal of Experimental and Clinical Assisted Reproduction 6: 7

Infertility is an extraordinary public health problem in the Arab world, as it affects about 15% of couples seeking children. The male partner is responsible for infertility in approximately half of these cases. Classic microdeletions of the Y-chromosome involving the azoospermia factor (AZF) regions are known to be associated with spermatogenic impairment, and non-obstructive azoospermia must be differentiated on the basis of endocrine evaluation and testicular biopsy. Partial AZFc deletions remain controversial because there is no clear agreement regarding their role in spermatogenic failure. In the current study, 50 fertile males (controls) and 125 patients with primary idiopathic male infertility were studied in order to describe the frequency of Y-chromosome mirodeletions among male infertility patients in the Gaza Strip-Palestine area. No Y chromosome classical microdeletions could be detected in any of the 125 infertile men, suggesting that ethnic factors, genetic background, and Y chromosome haplogroups are key factors in such deletions. On the other hand, six gr/gr and one b1/b3 AZFc partial deletions were detected in the infertile population. The gr/gr deletion was also noted in relatives of four of the six patients with this deletion, and in one of the fertile controls. In conclusion, our study shows that the incidence of Y-chromosome microdeletions in our population is rare; these data suggest that other genetic, epigenetic, nutritional and/or local factors are responsible for impairments in semen parameters observed in this Gazan population. We further hypothesise that the gr/gr deletion is not associated with male infertility, at least in this sub-group.

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Accession: 055670870

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PMID: 20485582

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