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Novel Computational Model Describes The Speed At Which HIV Escapes The Immune Response

Date:
July 21, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A new model illustrates how HIV evades the immune system. The study, in PLoS Computational Biology, incorporates detailed interactions between a mutating virus and the immune system.

Researchers from Utrecht University, The Netherlands, have developed a model that illustrates how HIV evades the immune system. The study incorporates detailed interactions between a mutating virus and the immune system.

HIV avoids recognition by the human immune response through the generation of viral variants called "escape mutants". This avoidance seems to thwart effective control of virus replication, causing HIV-infected patients to progress to AIDS. However, it remains difficult to fully understand the dynamics of immune escape, as data from infected patients is relatively sparse.

Knowing this, Drs. Christian Althaus and Rob De Boer performed computer simulations to help interpret longitudinal data derived from HIV-infected patients. They illustrate that the virus often evades the immune response very slowly, on a timescale of years.

Depending on the diversity of the immune system, the virus will either be controlled effectively or accumulate detrimental mutations.

The results suggest an alternative strategy of vaccine design could be to reduce the replicative capacity of the virus.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Althaus et al. Dynamics of Immune Escape during HIV/SIV Infection. PLoS Computational Biology, 2008; 4 (7): e1000103 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000103

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Novel Computational Model Describes The Speed At Which HIV Escapes The Immune Response." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717201840.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, July 21). Novel Computational Model Describes The Speed At Which HIV Escapes The Immune Response. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717201840.htm
Public Library of Science. "Novel Computational Model Describes The Speed At Which HIV Escapes The Immune Response." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717201840.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

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