Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug-resistant HIV genes identified

Date:
December 12, 2010
Source:
University of Victoria
Summary:
New, groundbreaking research by a biomedical engineer significantly advances our understanding of HIV and how to treat it. They studied approximately 15,000 different versions of the virus -- something that has never been done before. This information has allowed them to locate the specific genes of the virus that were resistant to the drugs -- knowledge that could ultimately help researchers develop more effective treatments for HIV.

It is estimated that 38 million people worldwide are currently infected with HIV and that 4.1 million more are added each year. For scientists to design treatment therapies that are effective over the long-term it is essential to learn more about how the virus mutates and develops resistance to medications.

New, groundbreaking research by University of Victoria biomedical engineer Stephanie Willerth has significantly advanced the understanding of HIV and how to treat it.

"The virus mutates at a very high rate which is very problematic for HIV patients because the virus eventually develops resistance to medications,'' explains Willerth, a faculty member with UVic's Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Division of Medical Sciences.

Willerth and her team studied approximately 15,000 different versions of the virus -- something that has never been done before. This information has allowed them to locate the specific genes of the virus that were resistant to the drugs -- knowledge that could ultimately help researchers develop more effective treatments for HIV.

Willerth says that the methods she used can be applied to other difficult-to-treat viruses such as swine flu, Ebola, influenza or even staph infections.

"To study all of these different versions we have to replicate them millions of times, especially when it comes to complex viruses like HIV," explains Willerth. "Because this research method requires a large amount of genetic material and there are obvious risks of duplicating highly contagious viruses, scientists have avoided doing this. Our research was unique because of the method we used -- we isolated the genetic material from HIV, so that it was no longer alive, before we replicated it."

After replicating the virus from a small sample obtained from a long-term HIV patient who had developed drug resistance to their treatment, Willerth and her team studied its genetic make-up using "next generation" DNA sequencing -- a new method that allows researchers to study millions of molecules at a time.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Stephanie M. Willerth, Hιlder A. M. Pedro, Lior Pachter, Laurent M. Humeau, Adam P. Arkin, David V. Schaffer. Development of a Low Bias Method for Characterizing Viral Populations Using Next Generation Sequencing Technology. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (10): e13564 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013564

Cite This Page:

University of Victoria. "Drug-resistant HIV genes identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101210154517.htm>.
University of Victoria. (2010, December 12). Drug-resistant HIV genes identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101210154517.htm
University of Victoria. "Drug-resistant HIV genes identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101210154517.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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