Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers trace HIV adaptation to its human host

Date:
April 24, 2014
Source:
PLOS
Summary:
In a new study that traces the evolution of HIV in North America, researchers have found evidence that the virus is slowly adapting over time to its human hosts. However, this change is so gradual that it is unlikely to have an impact on vaccine design.

"Much research has focused on how HIV adapts to antiviral drugs -- we wanted to investigate how HIV adapts to us, its human host, over time," says lead author Zabrina Brumme from Simon Fraser University.

In a study published in PLOS Genetics, which traces the evolution of HIV in North America, the Brumme lab and colleagues at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Harvard University, the New York Blood Center, and The San Francisco Department of Public Health found evidence that the virus is slowly adapting over time to its human hosts. However, this change is so gradual that it is unlikely to have an impact on vaccine design.

"HIV adapts to the immune response in reproducible ways. In theory, this could be bad news for host immunity -- and vaccines -- if such mutations were to spread in the population " says Brumme. "Just like transmitted drug resistance can compromise treatment success, transmitted immune escape mutations could erode our ability to naturally fight HIV."

Researchers characterized HIV sequences from patients dating from 1979, the beginning of the North American HIV epidemic, to the modern day. Data analysis -- which required the painstaking recovery of viral RNA from historic specimens -- was led by a trio of SFU graduate students.

The team reconstructed the epidemic's ancestral ("founder") HIV sequence and from there they assessed the spread of immune escape mutations in the population.

"Overall, our results show that the virus is adapting very slowly in North America" said Brumme. "In parts of the world harder hit by HIV though, rates of adaptation could be higher."

The study ends with a message of hope. Says Brumme: "We already have the tools to curb HIV in the form of treatment -- and, we continue to advance towards a vaccine and a cure. Together, we can stop HIV/AIDS before the virus subverts host immunity through population-level adaptation."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Laura A. Cotton, Xiaomei T. Kuang, Anh Q. Le, Jonathan M. Carlson, Benjamin Chan, Denis R. Chopera, Chanson J. Brumme, Tristan J. Markle, Eric Martin, Aniqa Shahid, Gursev Anmole, Philip Mwimanzi, Pauline Nassab, Kali A. Penney, Manal A. Rahman, M.-J. Milloy, Martin T. Schechter, Martin Markowitz, Mary Carrington, Bruce D. Walker, Theresa Wagner, Susan Buchbinder, Jonathan Fuchs, Beryl Koblin, Kenneth H. Mayer, P. Richard Harrigan, Mark A. Brockman, Art F. Y. Poon, Zabrina L. Brumme. Genotypic and Functional Impact of HIV-1 Adaptation to Its Host Population during the North American Epidemic. PLoS Genetics, 2014; 10 (4): e1004295 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004295

Cite This Page:

PLOS. "Researchers trace HIV adaptation to its human host." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424190510.htm>.
PLOS. (2014, April 24). Researchers trace HIV adaptation to its human host. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424190510.htm
PLOS. "Researchers trace HIV adaptation to its human host." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424190510.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
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