In the largest study of its kind, a group of investigators from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore and Washington University in St. Louis have found distinct patterns of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) evolution in individuals with different rates of disease progression. The findings, which appeared in the October 1998 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA, suggested that the course of disease is determined by factors within the infected individual that affect how the virus evolves, and that the level of HIV genetic diversity in a group of infected individuals was predictive of that group's deterioration over the next year. The study also suggested that, when developing ways to combat the virus, scientists must develop means to stimulate the immune system to fight multiple genetic variants of the virus simultaneously.
The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins School Of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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