Experts have long noted that when it comes to HIV progression, people with HIV experience different rates of disease progression, since the virus is known to progress faster in people with a higher viral load. In line with this, a new research suggests that viral and human genetic component could potentially be taken into account as much as one third in terms of progression rates that have been seen among people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The said research has recently claimed that patient genetics influences disease progression by triggering mutations in the HIV viral genome.
Debunking HIV Progression
According to reports revealed by Science Daily, previous research has already shown that when it comes to an infected person's genetics as well as the genetics of their particular HIV strain can both influence viral load. Now, it was found that István Bartha of école Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, together with her colleagues are said to be the first group of scientists to investigate the relative impacts of human and viral genetics on viral load within the same group of patients. In conducting their study, the researchers have allegedly used a computational modeling method known as linear mixed modeling to determine how human and viral genetics might explain differences in viral load between the patients.
Consequently, it turned out that the genetic differences between HIV strains could likely explain 29 percent of differences in viral load between patients, while the human genetic variation is likely considered to explain the 8.4 percent rate. When combined, it was found that they explain just 30 percent of viral load variation, which the experts say that basically indicates that patient genetics exert most of its influence by inducing genetic mutations in the HIV virus as it multiplies inside the patient.
HIV Progression May Be Influenced By Genetics
Meanwhile, as reported by the International Business Times, the research findings suggests that the patients' genetics trigger genetic mutations in the HIV virus as it multiplies inside them, thus influencing the clinical course of HIV infection. Furthermore, experts have highly emphasized that although it has no clinical application as of the press time, the study improves our understanding of HIV pathogenesis. Ultimately, study director Jacques Fellay has also revealed that the team is now on the move to replicate their study in a wider group of participants, from a wider range of nationalities.