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UF researchers track genetic journey of HIV from birth to death
Date:10/16/2007

rcent of American mothers currently infected with HIV/AIDS will transmit the viruses to their babies during birth. Without the drugs, about 40 percent of infected mothers would give birth to babies with HIV.

Those therapies may help future children, but they came too late for the subjects enrolled in the study. The children received minimal medication and all developed full-blown AIDS by their first birthdays.

Their whole virus infection was what we call the natural history, Goodenow said. This tells you what happens in the absence of combination antiretroviral therapy.

The next step, Goodenow said, will be to track the evolution of HIV in adults before and after treatment. The researchers hope their findings will pave the way for new drugs that interfere with the virus ability to evolve in the thymus.

This is an excellent study that reveals fine-scale patterns in the evolution and adaptation of HIV during infection, said Oliver Pybus, a research fellow in the department of zoology at Oxford University. Pybus was part of a team that, three years ago in Science, published descriptions of the high-resolution technique UF researchers used in their study. For the first time, it shows how the movement of immune cells with the body is linked to the evolutionary behavior of the virus, which in turn determines the clinical outcome of infection.


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Contact: Ann Griswold
anngriswold@gmail.com
352-273-5819
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

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