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Update on Genetic Engineering for an HIV Cure

July 14, 2016


Modifying CD4 T Cells

Modifying CD4 T Cells

One of the first attempts at the knockout method was the use of zinc fingers to disable the CCR5 co-receptor in CD4 cells removed from someone living with HIV. The modified CD4 cells were then re-infused into that person. Clinical trials of this technique have shown long-term CD4 cell reconstitution and some decay in the latent reservoir of HIV-infected cells in study participants whose antiretroviral treatment (ART) controlled their viral load, but whose CD4 cell counts had remained low. Furthermore, total T cell counts increased and the modified T cells persisted long term in participants' bodies. A few participants who intentionally stopped ART also achieved some degree of viral control.

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