Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Human CCR5 knockout   posted by p-ter @ 2/11/2009 07:27:00 PM

This is a pretty nice little story: a man enters a clinic with leukemia and HIV, gets a bone marrow transplant from a donor homozygous for the CCR5 deletion (these individuals are largely resistant to HIV infection), and ends up no longer needing anti-retroviral therapy.

It's just a single patient, and I somehow doubt this is a viable option for HIV treatment, but still, this is pretty impressive:
In our patient, transplantation led to complete chimerism, and the patient's peripheral-blood monocytes changed from a heterozygous to a homozygous genotype regarding the CCR5 delta32 allele. Although the patient had non–CCR5-tropic X4 variants and HAART was discontinued for more than 20 months, HIV-1 virus could not be detected in peripheral blood, bone marrow, or rectal mucosa, as assessed with RNA and proviral DNA PCR assays. For as long as the viral load continues to be undetectable, this patient will not require antiretroviral therapy.