Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

SFU researchers trace HIV evolution in North America

28.04.2014

A study tracing the evolution of HIV in North America involving researchers at Simon Fraser University has 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 hosts, over time,” says lead author Zabrina Brumme, an assistant professor in SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

The study, published today in PLOS Genetics, was led by Brumme’s lab in collaboration with scientists at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, UBC, and sites across the U.S. including Harvard University, the New York Blood Center and the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

“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.”

... more about:
»Aids »CIHR »HIV »HIV epidemic »SFU »UBC »immune »mutations »role

Researchers characterized HIV sequences from patients dating from 1979, the beginning of the North American HIV epidemic, to the modern day.

The team reconstructed the epidemic’s ancestral HIV sequence and from there, assessed the spread of immune escape mutations in the population.

“Overall, our results show that the virus is adapting very slowly in North America,” says 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, Brumme adds. “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.” 

Numerous SFU researchers contributed to the analysis, which required the careful recovery of viral RNA from historic specimens followed by laboratory culture. A trio of SFU graduate students, including health sciences student Laura Cotton, shared the lead author role.

“It was painstaking work,” says Cotton, “but it was fascinating to study these isolates in the lab, knowing that they had played an important role in the history of HIV on our continent.” Numerous undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs and faculty including adjunct professor Art Poon and associate professor Mark Brockman were among other co-authors.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) funded the study.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.

Zabrina Brumme | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.sfu.ca/pamr/media-releases/2014/sfu-researchers-trace-hiv-evolution-in-north-america.html

Further reports about: Aids CIHR HIV HIV epidemic SFU UBC immune mutations role

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Understanding the Body’s Response to Worms and Allergies
24.04.2015 | University of Manchester

nachricht Caring for blindness: A new protein in sight?
22.04.2015 | NSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale)

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fast and Accurate 3-D Imaging Technique to Track Optically-Trapped Particles

KAIST researchers published an article on the development of a novel technique to precisely track the 3-D positions of optically-trapped particles having complicated geometry in high speed in the April 2015 issue of Optica.

Daejeon, Republic of Korea, April 23, 2015--Optical tweezers have been used as an invaluable tool for exerting micro-scale force on microscopic particles and...

Im Focus: NOAA, Tulane identify second possible specimen of 'pocket shark' ever found

Pocket sharks are among the world's rarest finds

A very small and rare species of shark is swimming its way through scientific literature. But don't worry, the chances of this inches-long vertebrate biting...

Im Focus: Drexel materials scientists putting a new spin on computing memory

Ever since computers have been small enough to be fixtures on desks and laps, their central processing has functioned something like an atomic Etch A Sketch, with electromagnetic fields pushing data bits into place to encode data.

Unfortunately, the same drawbacks and perils of the mechanical sketch board have been just as pervasive in computing: making a change often requires starting...

Im Focus: Exploding stars help to understand thunderclouds on Earth

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was discovered, more or less by coincidence, that cosmic rays provide suitable probes to measure electric fields within thunderclouds. This surprising finding is published in Physical Review Letters on April 24th. The measurements were performed with the LOFAR radio telescope located in the Netherlands.

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was...

Im Focus: On the trail of a trace gas

Max Planck researcher Buhalqem Mamtimin determines how much nitrogen oxide is released into the atmosphere from agriculturally used oases.

In order to make statements about current and future air pollution, scientists use models which simulate the Earth’s atmosphere. A lot of information such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

HHL Energy Conference on May 11/12, 2015: Students Discuss about Decentralized Energy

23.04.2015 | Event News

“Developing our cities, preserving our planet”: Nobel Laureates gather for the first time in Asia

23.04.2015 | Event News

HHL's Entrepreneurship Conference on FinTech

13.04.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrons Move Like Light in Three-Dimensional Solid

24.04.2015 | Materials Sciences

Connecting Three Atomic Layers Puts Semiconducting Science on Its Edge

24.04.2015 | Materials Sciences

Understanding the Body’s Response to Worms and Allergies

24.04.2015 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>