Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 (NIPS 2008)
Alexander Braunstein, Zhi Wei, Shane Jensen, Jon Mcauliffe
Statistical evolutionary models provide an important mechanism for describing and understanding the escape response of a viral population under a particular therapy. We present a new hierarchical model that incorporates spatially varying mutation and recombination rates at the nucleotide level. It also maintains sep- arate parameters for treatment and control groups, which allows us to estimate treatment effects explicitly. We use the model to investigate the sequence evolu- tion of HIV populations exposed to a recently developed antisense gene therapy, as well as a more conventional drug therapy. The detection of biologically rele- vant and plausible signals in both therapy studies demonstrates the effectiveness of the method.