Several epidemiological studies have shown that individuals with one mutant copy of the CCR5 gene are disproportionately represented among long-term nonprogressors. The LIR defines long-term nonprogressors as people who have been HIV-infected for more than seven years, have stable CD4+ T cell counts above 600 per cubic millimeter (mm3) of blood, have no history of HIV-related symptoms, and who have not taken antiretroviral drugs.
Drs. Cohen, Fauci and their team began recruiting long-term nonprogressors five years ago to determine the specific factors that protect these people from HIV disease progression. Soon after the discovery of the role of CCR5 in HIV disease and the association of the mutant CCR5 gene with slower disease progression, the LIR team found that people with one copy of the mutant gene (and one copy of the normal gene) were over-represented in their cohort of long-term nonprogressors.
Contact: Greg Folkers
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases