Researchers Develop Novel Metric Linking HLA Variability to Disease Outcomes in HIV-Infected Individuals

by Medical Writer Alejandra Viviescas, PhD

Researchers at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research and collaborating institutions have developed a new metric to assess how HLA variants influence the effectiveness of the immune response. They applied this new metric, called “functional divergence,” to HIV-infected individuals and showed that a high functional divergence correlated with reduced disease severity and reduced viral load. Functional divergence could play a role in other processes that rely on immune response, such as infection, vaccines, and immunotherapy. The study, titled “Impact of HLA Class I Functional Divergence on HIV Control” was published on January 18th, 2024 in Science.

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