Müller Günthard

Fakultäten » Medizinische Fakultät » Infektionskrankheiten und Spitalhygiene, Klinik für » Prof. Dr. Huldrych Günthard » Müller Günthard

Completed research project

Title / Titel Ethnic differences in the progression of untreated HIV infections in the SHCS
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung The rate of disease progression in untreated HIV infections displays considerable variation, ranging from fast progressors to long-term non-progressors. This variation involves both host and viral factors, and elucidating its major components has been in the focus of HIV research from the beginning. This proposal aims to investigate the effect of a readily classifiable host factor, ethnicity, in the SHCS study population. The composition of the study population allows us to compare patients of black and white ethnicity with respect to markers of disease progression. These markers will be calculated from existing clinical data in the SHCS database (virus load and lymphocyte counts), and will include the linear slope of the loss of CD4 cells from the blood, the linear slope of the CD4:CD8 ratio, and the viral setpoint (calculated as mean log virus load) of treatment-naive patients.

The true effect of ethnicity may be confounded by viral factors if variation in the two is not independent. In particular, black patients in the cohort may be recent immigrants with non-B subtype viruses. To test this, we will retrieve sequence information available from the patients in the study from the SHCS resistance database, and perform subtyping wherever possible. By repeating the comparison on patients with subtype information, we will be able to dissect the effects of ethnicity and subtype on disease progression.

Finally, if subtyping and phylogenetic analyses of viruses isolated from black patients indicate an endemic origin of these infections in Switzerland, we will perform a systematic comparison of viruses from the two ethnicities. In each HIV infection, the virus is adapting to its particular host. Systematic differences between distinct groups of hosts may result in characteristic differences in some host-specific viral traits in the viruses infecting different host groups. We propose to test this hypothesis for the case of ethnicity-based differences.
Keywords / Suchbegriffe HIV, CD4 cells, HIV RNA, ethnicity, subtype, disease progession
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Dr. Viktor Müller, PhD (Project Leader)
Prof. Huldrych Günthard, M.D. (Project Leader)
Prof. Bruno Ledergerber, PhD
Dr. Viktor von Wyl, PhD
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung)
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Study Centers and study sites of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study Switzerland
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Apr 2007 to Mar 2010