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The Berlin patient: HIV eradication


Senior Member

I don't know if this has been posted before, this is actually a follow-up of this HIV+ patient, who received stem-cell transplant, and seems to be cured from HIV. This study shows, if I understand correctly, that eradication of the so called reservoirs is not necessary.

By knocking out the CCR5-receptor of this patient, HIV can not gain access to the cells, and eventually shows the white flag.

This is the study:

Evidence for the cure of HIV infection by CCR5?32/?32 stem cell transplantation.

Blood. 2011 Mar 10;117(10):2791-9

Authors: Allers K, Htter G, Hofmann J, Loddenkemper C, Rieger K, Thiel E, Schneider T

HIV entry into CD4(+) cells requires interaction with a cellular receptor, generally either CCR5 or CXCR4. We have previously reported the case of an HIV-infected patient in whom viral replication remained absent despite discontinuation of antiretroviral therapy after transplantation with CCR5?32/?32 stem cells. However, it was expected that the long-lived viral reservoir would lead to HIV rebound and disease progression during the process of immune reconstitution. In the present study, we demonstrate successful reconstitution of CD4(+) T cells at the systemic level as well as in the gut mucosal immune system after CCR5?32/?32 stem cell transplantation, while the patient remains without any sign of HIV infection. This was observed although recovered CD4(+) T cells contain a high proportion of activated memory CD4(+) T cells, ie, the preferential targets of HIV, and are susceptible to productive infection with CXCR4-tropic HIV. Furthermore, during the process of immune reconstitution, we found evidence for the replacement of long-lived host tissue cells with donor-derived cells, indicating that the size of the viral reservoir has been reduced over time. In conclusion, our results strongly suggest that cure of HIV has been achieved in this patient.

Best regards,