Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists discover origin of HIV transmission among male partners

Date:
February 11, 2010
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
A team of scientists has discovered the origin of strains of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among men who have sex with men. The study may be important in developing prevention strategies for HIV.

Davey Smith, M.D., M.A.S.
Credit: UC San Diego School of Medicine

A team of scientists, led by a virologist from the University of California, San Diego's Center for AID Research (CFAR), has discovered the origin of strains of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among men who have sex with men. The study, which may be important in developing prevention strategies for HIV, will appear in Science Translational Medicine on February 10, 2010.

Related Articles


"If we want to stop the HIV epidemic, then we must know the mechanisms by which HIV uses human sex to spread," said principal investigator Davey Smith, MD, MAS, associate professor of medicine in UCSD's Division of Infectious Diseases and in the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, and director of the CFAR Viral Pathogenesis Core.

It is known that most HIV infections worldwide result from exposure to the HIV virus in semen, made up of seminal cells and the fluid around these calls, called seminal plasma. HIV virus particles contain RNA and exist in the plasma, while infected seminal cells contain HIV DNA.

Using a method of comparing genetic characteristics, called phylogenetic analysis, the researchers studied a group of men who had sexually transmitted their HIV virus to other men. Phylogenetic models allow researchers to estimate the dates of origin of various groups of viruses; in this way the team was able to determine the source of rapidly mutating HIV viruses by analyzing the viral sequences extracted from the blood and semen of HIV transmitting partners. The team found that recipients shared a more recent common ancestor with virus from the seminal plasma than with virus found in the seminal cells of their source partner.

"Until now, it had not been established whether HIV RNA or DNA is transmitted during sex," said Smith. "By analyzing the genetic differences between these two forms and the virus that was ultimately transmitted to newly infected individuals we found that it was the HIV RNA form present in seminal plasma that was transmitted."

"The findings from this study will help direct prevention strategies to address the virus in the seminal plasma," Smith said. "By knowing the origin of the transmitted virus, scientists may be able to develop new vaccines, vaginal microbicides and drugs to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted HIV."

Smith notes that because the study involved pairs of men who have sex with men, the findings do not comment directly on HIV transmission to women. "Since the vast majority of women are infected with HIV by exposure to the virus in semen, HIV RNA in the seminal plasma is the likely culprit, but this needs to be confirmed," he said.

Additional authors include David M. Butler, Wayne Delport, Sergei L. Kosakovsky Pond, Malcolm K. Lakdawala, Pok Man Cheng and Susan J. Little, UCSD Department of Medicine; and Douglas D. Richman, UCSD Department of Medicine and Veterans Affairs San Diego Health System.

The study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Scientists discover origin of HIV transmission among male partners." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100210141649.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2010, February 11). Scientists discover origin of HIV transmission among male partners. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100210141649.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Scientists discover origin of HIV transmission among male partners." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100210141649.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins