Wednesday, December 15, 2010

HIV Cure?

An American who has been infected with AIDS for years and developed a type of resistant leukemia under went stem cell treatment in Germany.  They injected him with stem cells from another patient with identical blood and immune system type except the donor is naturally HIV resistant.  They don't have
"a cellular doorway, called CCR5, that the AIDS virus uses to get into the cells it infects"
Once the new stem cells integrated into the patient he also became CCR5 deficient and hence the AIDS virus no longer had access to his cells.  The initial injection was done in 2007 and they only recently declared him cured (with the caveat that they can't really tell until they do a PCR on his cells post mortem).  Here is the news article.

Now here is the reason I'm excited about this.  Although this is a preliminary test and it was only performed on one patient and it is VERY dangerous procedure (high possibility of death), the dude survived and is AIDS free as far as they can tell.  The docs figured out the chemical key that AIDS uses, found a population of CCR5 deficient donors and performed a stem cell transplant that worked!  But how does that relate to CFS?  I'm wondering if XMRV possesses the same chemical key, CCR5?  If so, the same stem cell treatment might work.  If XMRV uses a different chemical key, are there any people deficient in the XMRV receptor, i.e. does there exist a population that can not catch XMRV?  If so, can stem cell therapy be used to transplant cells from the resistant population to the sick population?  Enquiring minds want to know.

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