Acute and chronic dynamics of HIV and HCV infections, within-host evolution and epidemiological outcomes
Start/End: 01.10.2011 – 30.11.2014
Approved amount: 439’722 CHF (~ 450k USD)
Applicant(s): Christian L. Althaus
The results of the sub-study of Aim 1 (Acute HIV infection) provide novel quantitative insights into the turnover and development of different subclasses of HIV-1-infected cells. The model predicts that the pool of latently infected cells becomes rapidly established during the first months of acute infection and continues to increase slowly during the first years of chronic infection (1). Having a detailed understanding of this process will be useful for the evaluation of viral eradication strategies that aim to eliminate the latent reservoir of HIV-1.
The results of the study of Aim 2 (Modeling the virus dynamics of HIV and HCV within a host) shed light on the impact of the immune response on the outcome of HIV and HCV infections. I found the death rate of infected cells to be the primary determinant for spontaneous clearance of HCV, suggesting that cytolytic immune responses play a major role in this process (2). In contrast, I showed that non-cytolytic immune responses that modulate viral production are likely to play the primary role in determining the set-point viral load levels of HIV and HCV.
- Althaus CL, Joos B, Perelson AS, Günthard HF. (2014) Quantifying the turnover of transcriptional subclasses of HIV-1-infected cells. PLOS Comput Biol, 10.
- Althaus CL. (2015) Of mice, macaques and men: scaling of virus dynamics and immune responses. Front Microbiol, 6.