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 October 21, 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 October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) 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