Comparing the fitness and patient landscapes of HIV-1
Issued: Sun, 10 Aug 2014 19:53:00 BST
Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) exists within its host as a large, complex and heterogeneous population. HIV-1 evolves rapidly due to its fast and highly error prone replication mechanism which enables this devastating pathogen to outpace the human immune system, adapt to antiviral therapies and sidestep vaccination strategies.
Our current understanding of the mechanisms underlying virus evolution have been limited by the inability to accurately analyse the genetic structure within viral populations. However, NGS technologies provide the power to dissect these genetically complex viral populations enabling the evolutionary dynamics of viruses to be studied at an unprecedented level of detail.
In this project, we propose to use NGS technologies combined with mathematical modelling to define the mutational fitness landscape of HIV-1 and identify novel genomic regions for potential drug targeting.