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Evolution of drug-resistant HIV-strains after transmission

Thursday 17 January 2013

Treatment of HIV-1 infection can lead to selection of resistant HIV variants. These variants can be transmitted to new hosts. Indeed, ~10% of all new HIV-1 infections in Europe harbour at least 1 major resistance mutation. Recent studies show that some of these mutations persist for a long period, while other mutations disappear over time. Unfortunately, these studies describe only a small number of patients. Furthermore, it is not known why some of the resistance mutations can persist for years in the absence of therapy. On an individual level these resistance mutations make treatment of the patient more difficult and on a population level it is not unlikely that these mutations will become part of the “wild type viral population”. Therefore, we are investigating the evolution of HIV-1 after transmission to the new host both on a large scale but also on a molecular level. This way, we are trying to understand which mutations will persist, and why.

Viral RNA/DNA isolation, PCR, sequencing, cloning, cell culture, viral culture, viral assays.

Dr A. Wensing, A.M.J.Wensing@umcutrecht.nl
Dr M. Nijhuis, M.Nijhuis@umcutrecht.nl