University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine
News Divider
            


Stefan Sarafianos, PhD
Stefan Sarafianos, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the MU School of Medicine, has identified a new mutation that allows HIV to elude treatment. His research recently appeared in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.


New Discoveries Make it Harder for HIV to Hide from Drugs


How the virus can escape even the best cocktail of treatments described in Nature journal

The virus that causes AIDS is chameleon-like in its replication. As HIV copies itself in humans, it constantly mutates into forms that can evade even the best cocktail of current therapies. Understanding exactly how HIV cells change as they reproduce is key to developing better tests and treatments for patients.

In the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, MU microbiologist and biochemist Stefan Sarafianos, PhD, reveals new findings that shed light on how HIV eludes treatment by mutating. His discoveries provide clues into HIV's mechanisms for resisting two main families of drugs.

"These findings are important because identifying a new mutation that affects HIV drug resistance allows physicians to make better decisions and prescribe the proper drugs," Sarafianos said. "Without that knowledge, therapy can be suboptimal and lead to early failure."

Patients with HIV are routinely tested to track the levels of the virus and immune cells in their body. Results of the tests help physicians gauge the health of their patients and prescribe the right mix of antiviral drugs. The drugs help prevent the spread of HIV in patients by inhibiting the virus' ability to replicate.

Sarafianos' lab determined the biochemical properties that allow strains of HIV with a specific mutation — the N348I mutation — to escape inhibition despite treatment with Nevirapine. The drug is commonly used in combination with other antiviral medications to decrease the amount of HIV in the blood. As a result of Sarafianos' discovery, at least one major company that manufactures HIV mutation-testing kits has modified its test to detect the N348I mutation.

Sarafianos' recent findings resulted from research supported by five National Institutes of Health grants. He recently received another $417,000 award from the NIH to assist him in developing modified antibodies for HIV therapy.

"Our latest efforts to design broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV will hopefully expand our toolbox against the virus, which remains a constantly moving target," Sarafianos said.



MU Health Magazine

Divider

News and Events

Evans Evans Named Associate Dean and Chief Academic Officer for Springfield Clinical Campus
Role is to engage Columbia and Springfield leaders to provide strategic direction and vision
Robin Kruse, PhD Lack of Research Keeps End-of-Life Care in Status Quo
MU researcher finds only 10 clinical trials conducted in hospices since 1985, says more studies could improve patient care

Govindarajan MU Neurologist Earns National Education Honor
Raghav Govindarajan, MD, to receive National Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence

David Beversdorf Blood Pressure Medicine May Improve Conversational Skills of Individuals with Autism
Propranolol found to boost performance on six key components of communication

HMI Health Management and Informatics Professor Leads Largest Health Survey in Missouri
MU research center receives $2.13 million grant to survey more than 52,000 Missourians
Kattesh Katti, PhD MU Radiology Professor Named India’s Person of the Year in Science
Katti honored for breakthrough research in nanomedicine and green nanotechnology
Frederick Fraunfelder, MD Chickenpox, Shingles Vaccine May Cause Corneal Inflammation in Some Patients
Primary care physicians should be aware of possible vision side effect for susceptible patients
Infant-friendly Flu Vaccine Infant-friendly Flu Vaccine Developed with Key Protein
Natural additive offers protection against flu for babies younger than six months
Rural Area Medical School Program Addresses Rural Physician Shortage
Service learning enhances medical training, may increase rural practitioners




Media Relations
University of Missouri Health System
One Hospital Drive, DC028.00
Columbia, MO 65212
24/7 on-call pager: (573) 876-0708

Mary Jenkins
jenkinsmg@health.missouri.edu
(573) 882-7299

Jeff Hoelscher
hoelscherj@health.missouri.edu
(573) 884-1608

Derek Thompson
thompsonder@health.missouri.edu
(573) 882-3323

Diamond Dixon
DixonDi@health.missouri.edu
(573) 884-7541

Justin Kelley (Photographer)
kelleyju@health.missouri.edu
(573) 882-5786
Pager (573) 397-9289


Web Communications
University of Missouri Health System
One Hospital Drive, MA204G, DC018.00
Columbia, MO 65212
(573) 884-0298

Jennifer Orford
orfordj@health.missouri.edu
(573) 882-0298

Jesslyn Chew
chewj@missouri.edu
(573) 884-2891

Velvet Hasner
hasnerv@health.missouri.edu
(573) 884-1115

Justin Willett
willettj@health.missouri.edu
(573) 884-7740



Printer Friendly
Follow us on Twitter!   Facebook   YouTube Videos   Instagram   Pinterest  
Website created and maintained by the Office of Communications. Contact the MU School of Medicine.
Revised: April 27, 2013 - Copyright © 2014 - Curators of the University of Missouri. All rights reserved. DMCA and other copyright information. An equal opportunity/access/affirmative action/pro-disabled and veteran employer.