Can you imagine a person getting completely cured of infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)? I am not joking, this has really occurred.
A 42-year-old American living in Germany received the transplant to treat his leukemia, not the HIV itself. But, it appears the transplant has wiped out the deadly disease.
HIV requires the presence of a chemokine receptor, principally chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) to develop infection. Homozygosity for a 32-bp deletion in the CCR5 allele provides resistance against HIV-1 acquisition. The doctors transplanted stem cells from a donor who was homozygous for CCR5 delta32 to this Germany resident.
However the gene mutation is found in only 1-3% of white population of European origin.
It was observed that HIV was completely wiped off from the patient. The report was published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.