Immune gene variants help stop HIV

Research on ‘elite controllers’ might lead to better drugs or vaccine

By Nathan Seppa, 13:59 PM November 4, 2010

Variations in an immune-system gene account for at least part of the uncanny ability of some people to withstand an HIV infection without developing AIDS, researchers report online November 4 in Science. The study confirms past data linking the gene, called HLA-B, to HIV defense and narrows researchers’ focus to molecular changes brought on by particular variations in the gene.

About one in 300 people with HIV are “elite controllers.” Though infected with the virus, their immune systems con...

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