, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 160-162

Susceptibility to HIV/AIDS: An Individual Characteristic We Can Measure?

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Susceptibility to HIV-1 infections is, beside other factors, determined by individual host genetic variants like HLA class I alleles, CCR5 and CCR2 variants and levels of CCR5 binding chemokines. A new approach to determine the individual risk of acquiring an HIV infection or to estimate the disease progression could now be possible. In a recent study, a significant interindividual and interpopulation difference in the copy number of a segmental duplication encompassing the gene encoding CCL3L1, a potent human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV- 1)-suppressive chemokine was found. Possession of a CCL3L1 copy number lower than the population average was associated with markedly enhanced HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) susceptibility. This could lead to a screening test that identifies people who have a higher or lower susceptibility to HIV/ AIDS, potentially enabling clinicians to adapt treatment regimens. Also, this is particularly important for assessment of the efficacy of a protective vaccine.