In its new online format “Science Spotlight”, the 2021 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) has selected the article “MiRNA’s plasma profile anticipates loss of virological control in elite controllers” by the Infection and Immunity Research Group of (INIM) of the Joan XXIII University Hospital in Tarragona (HJ23), the Pere Virgili Health Research Institute (IISPV) and the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), together with a research group from the Institute of Biomedicine in Seville/Virgin Rocío de Sevilla University Hospital. The paper will be presented by Jennifer Masip and it forms part of her thesis as a doctoral student on the Martí Franquès programme of the URV.
The chosen study focuses on HIV patients known as elite controllers (HIV-EC), a rare group of individuals who have an extraordinary capacity to maintain an undetectable viral load of HIV in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. These individuals come from a heterogeneous population virological, immunological and clinical terms, and around 25% lose virological control after some time. The mechanisms associated with this loss of virological control are unknown. Therefore, the aim of the study is to analyse which genetic factors, such as microRNA patterns, may lead to the loss of control and in this way improve understanding of the clinical evolution and the progression of the disease in EC-HIV patients.
The CROI is the most important international research conference on HIV in the world and is held each year in a different city in the United States with the aim of providing a forum for sharing basic and clinical research in the context of HIV/AIDS. This conference attracts more than 4000 leading HIV researchers from almost 90 countries and in recent years more than 1000 abstracts have been selected for presentation at the CROI. This year, the 28th edition of the CROI will take place from 6 to 10 March in an online format during which researchers will present and discuss the latest findings regarding HIV, hepatitis viruses, SARS-CoV-2 and other viral infections.