Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel genetics research advances possibility of HIV vaccine

06.07.2007
A pioneering collaborative study has discovered how the HIV virus evades the human body’s immune system.

The research collaborative – involving scientists from the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Microsoft Research and Los Alamos National Laboratory – used highly computer-intensive, cutting-edge statistical research methods to investigate how the HIV virus mutates to escape the body’s immune system.

Specifically, “HLA class 1” is a controlling part of the human immune response. The ability of HIV to escape recognition by HLA class 1 leaves the body incapable of finding and fighting the virus.

The study, published in the July issue of PLoS Pathogens, is the largest population-based investigation of how natural variations in HLA class 1 can influence HIV genetic sequence, as well as the first characterization of changes in multiple HIV genes in response to HLA-associated evolutionary pressure.

... more about:
»HIV »HLA »Statistical »Vaccine »Variation

Researchers successfully mapped sites within particular HIV genes where variations can improve the virus’s ability to escape immune recognition, showing this is predictable based upon the HIV patient’s individual HLA class 1 profile.

“This is a novel and advanced description of how the human immune system attacks the virus, and how it responds” says Dr. Richard Harrigan, Director of the Centre’s Research Laboratories and study co-author. “While we always knew the body attacks the virus and the virus changes to dodge pressure, we’re now more exact in knowing how this happens in people.”

While the study is valuable in helping the scientific community understand how immune pressure impacts HIV, these findings hold tremendous promise in terms of global HIV efforts, says Dr. Zabrina Brumme, the study’s lead author. “Achieving a more in-depth understanding of the ways in which HIV mutates to avoid the human immune system will help with the design of an HIV vaccine,” says Brumme, who is now with the Partners AIDS Research Center at MGH.

Data were collected from the British Columbia HOMER cohort, a large group of chronically HIV-infected, treatment-naïve individuals for whom HLA class-1 typing and HIV RNA genotyping were performed.

Microsoft Research provided personnel and advanced software tools to perform highly sophisticated statistical analysis. Algorithms developed by David Heckerman, lead researcher of the Machine Learning and Applied Statistics Group at Microsoft Research and study co-author, and his team allowed for more in-depth analysis of the data sets. “We created the software tools to help researchers exploit the power of computing to more quickly and accurately identify the crucial elements of an effective HIV vaccine,” said Heckerman.

The original idea for the development of these statistical methods came from Dr. Bette Korber at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Korber and co-researchers Dr. Tanmoy Bhattacharya and Marcus Daniels worked with Heckerman in further developing the cutting-edge statistical approach.

Study results demonstrate that population-based approaches could complement smaller functional studies by providing a whole-gene or whole-virus picture of immune escape. Previous B.C. Centre research published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases investigated the role of HLA class 1 variation on response to anti-HIV therapy. “Moving forward, we’ll be expanding our genetic research to other HIV genes. We’ll also be investigating the role of drug therapy,” says Harrigan.

Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mgh.harvard.edu/

Further reports about: HIV HLA Statistical Vaccine Variation

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Show me your leaves - Health check for urban trees
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
12.12.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>