According to a new study some people of African descent possess a CHD1L gene variant that likely controls human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- The Chromodomain Helicase DNA Binding Protein 1 Like (CHD1L), which contains information to make proteins that allow the body to repair DNA damage.
- A variant of the CHD1L gene, specifically present in the African population, has been linked to the reduced viral load (amount of HIV in the blood) of the most common and virulent type of HIV, called HIV-1 (more common and severe retrovirus compared to HIV-2).
- They analysed the DNA of almost 4,000 people of African ancestry living with HIV-1 and found a gene variant CHD1L on chromosome 1.
- People carrying this variant had a low viral load.
- This lowers their risk of spreading the virus and slowing the progress of their own illness.
- The researchers said between 4 per cent and 13 per cent of people of African origin could be carrying this particular variant.
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an infection that attacks the body’s immune system.
- Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the most advanced stage of the disease.
- HIV targets the body’s white blood cells, weakening the immune system.