A Mutation That Resists HIV Has Other Harmful Consequences
June 3, 2019
(The Atlantic) – The girls’ CCR5 genes were altered, according to data He presented, but they do not exactly match the 32-letter deletion; it’s unclear whether either of them is actually resistant to HIV. Even if they were unable to get HIV, a body of research already suggested that CCR5-?32 made people more vulnerable to the flu and West Nile virus. A “good” mutation in the context of HIV can be “bad” in another context. No one knew, exactly, the net effect of a CCR5-?32 mutation. However, the new study, by Rasmus Nielsen and Xinzhu “April” Wei of UC Berkeley, shows that people with two copies of the mutation are 21 percent more likely to die at the age of 76, with a mortality rate of 16.5 percent, compared with 13.6 percent for those who have only one or zero copies.