Viral infections cause substantial morbidity and mortality globally. The severity of these diseases and individuals’ susceptibility to them is likely to be influenced by a number of factors including variation in host and virus genomes. Understanding these mechanisms can provide novel insights into the development of vaccines and therapeutic strategies for these diseases.
The HIV Exome Study aims to identify genetic variants associated with control of infection in a rare subgroup of HIV infected individuals who naturally control HIV infection without any treatment (‘elite controllers’). This study utilises exome sequencing approaches to identify novel and rare genetic variants associated with viral control within the coding regions of the genome. This research is being carried out within the HIV Genomics Consortium—an international consortium that aims to assess the role of host and virus genomes in HIV control.
We are also involved in the study of genomics of severe influenza in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, MOSAIC and GenISIS studies in collaboration with the Virus Genomics group at WTSI. This study aims to identify host genetic determinants associated with severe influenza H1N1 infection within the population.