Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a type of retrovirus, that if left untreated can lead to AIDs (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids that include:
-vaginal and rectal fluids
The virus isn’t transferred in air or water, or through casual contact.
Because HIV inserts itself into the DNA of cells, it’s a lifelong condition and currently there’s no drug that eliminates HIV from the body, although many scientists are working to find one.
However, with medical care, including treatment called antiretroviral therapy, it’s possible to manage HIV and live with the virus for many years.
Without treatment, a person with HIV is likely to develop a serious condition called the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, known as AIDS.
At that point, the immune system is too weak to successfully respond against other diseases, infections, and conditions.
Researchers based in China used CRISPR to edit hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) to make the gene CCR5 non-functional, which makes cells resistant to HIV-1. The CRISPR-edited CCR5-ablated HSPCs were transplanted into a patient with HIV-1 infection and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which was in remission. Although there was long-term engraftment of the edited HSPCs, only about 5% of lymphocytes contained the CCR5 disruption.
A Possible Sterilizing Cure of HIV-1 Infection Without Stem Cell Transplantation
Gabriela Turk, Kyra Seiger, Xiaodong Lian, Weiwei Sun, Elizabeth M. Parsons, Ce Gao, Yelizaveta Rassadkina, Maria Laura Polo, Alejandro Czernikier, Yanina Ghiglione, Alejandra Vellicce, Joseph Varriale, Jun Lai, Yuko Yuki, Maureen Martin, Ajantha Rhodes, Sharon R. Lewin, Bruce D. Walker, Mary Carrington, Robert Siliciano, Janet Siliciano, Mathias Lichterfeld, Natalia Laufer, Xu G. Yu
- CRISPRClustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is a prokaryotic adaptive immune response that provides immunity against foreign nucleic acids, such as viral DNA and bacterial plasmids, through the use of crRNAs (CRISPR RNAs) and associated Cas genes.
- CRISPR/Cas ToolsClustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR associated (Cas) proteins perform adaptive immune functions in prokaryotic organisms defending against foreign nucleic acids such as viruses. CRISPR/Cas tools have been adapted for use in genome editing and other DNA and RNA targeting applications.