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Update on Genetic Engineering for an HIV Cure

July 14, 2016


Update on Genetic Engineering for an HIV Cure

Genome engineering is an experimental approach for achieving a functional cure of HIV by genetically engineering CD4 T cells to become resistant to HIV, Paula Cannon, Ph.D., of the University of Southern California explained during a presentation at ASM Microbe 2016. A "functional cure" is generally defined as achieving a sustained undetectable viral load without continued antiretroviral therapy and without transmitting HIV.

The only HIV patient known to have been cured of HIV, Timothy Ray Brown, received a transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) that lacked the CCR5 co-receptor necessary for HIV to attach. Brown's body then generated his own CD4 T cells from these donor HSC, leading to resistance against HIV. This approach could be mimicked by genetically engineering a patient's own HSC so that they become CCR5 negative.

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Please note: Knowledge about HIV changes rapidly. Note the date of this summary's publication, and before treating patients or employing any therapies described in these materials, verify all information independently. If you are a patient, please consult a doctor or other medical professional before acting on any of the information presented in this summary. For a complete listing of our most recent conference coverage, click here.


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