HIV decision support: from molecule to man

P.M.A. Sloot, Peter V. Coveney, G. Ertaylan, V. Müller, C.A. Boucher, M. Bubak

Abstract

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is recognized to be one of the most destructive pandemics in recorded history. Effective highly active antiretroviral therapy and the availability of genetic screening of patient virus data have led to sustained viral suppression and higher life expectancy in patients who have been infected with HIV. The sheer complexity of the disease stems from the multiscale and highly dynamic nature of the system under study. The complete cascade from genome, proteome, metabolome and physiome to health forms a multidimensional system that crosses many orders of magnitude in temporal and spatial scales. Understanding, quantifying and handling this complexity is one of the biggest challenges of our time, which requires a highly multidisciplinary approach. In order to supply researchers with an interactive framework and to provide the medical professional with appropriate tools and information for making a balanced and reliable clinical decision, we have developed ‘ViroLab’, a collaborative decision-support system (http://www.virolab.org/). ViroLab contains computational models that cover various spatial and temporal scales from atomic-level interactions in nanoseconds up to sociological interactions on the epidemiological level, spanning years of disease progression. ViroLab allows for personalized drug ranking. It is on trial in six hospitals and various virology and epidemiology laboratories across Europe.

Footnotes

  • One contribution of 16 to a Theme Issue ‘Crossing boundaries: computational science, e-Science and global e-Infrastructure II. Selected papers from the UK e-Science All Hands Meeting 2008’.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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