Thursday, May 06, 2010

Math explains HIV immunity

A mathematical model has revealed part of the secret to why some people infected with HIV never get sick providing a new target in the attempt to harness that ability in a vaccine., Arup Chakraborty from MIT and his colleagues went after the question using mathematical models, which, according to Chakraborty, are well suited for investigating complex evolving systems like the immune system.Chakraborty and his colleagues used their model to predict that the HLA-B57 subtype can bind to fewer self-peptides than other subtypes. As a result, this subtype trains T cells against fewer self-peptides.The researchers tested their model against samples taken from HIV patients, and found that, in those that tended to progress in their disease, their HLAs were also able to bind to more self-peptides.

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