Stem cell transplant (SCT) can cure HIV

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Stem cell transplant (SCT) can cure HIV

Recently one more patient infected with HIV has been cured after Stem Cell Transplantation (SCT).

  • It is noteworthy that with this, three patients have been cured from SCT so far. This feat has been achieved with bone-marrow transplantation. Bone marrow transplant is also called SCT.
  • It was transplanted from a person with a specific HIV-resistant genetic mutation. This mutation is called the CCR5-delta 32 genetic mutation.
  • A bone marrow transplant is a procedure in which healthy blood-forming stem cells are injected into the body to replace bone marrow that does not make enough healthy blood cells.
  • Bone marrow transplants use cells from a person’s own body (autologous transplant) or from a donor (allogeneic transplant).
  • HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) primarily attacks the CD4 immune cells of the human body.
  • This reduces the ability of the person’s body to fight certain infections. CD4 immune cells are a type of white blood cell.
  • CCR5 receptors are present on the surface of CD4 immune cells. These receptors act as gateways for the HIV virus.
  • However, the CCR5 delta 32 mutation prevents these receptors used by the HIV virus from forming on the surface. In this way it closes the entrance for the virus itself.

About Stem –

  • Stem cells are specialized human cells. These can develop into many different types of cells.
  • Stem cells create new cells and remove damaged or destroyed cells.
  • Based on the type of cell/tissue of origin, stem cells are classified into the following-

Somatic stem cells, these are also called adult stem cells, and embryonic stem cells.

Source – Indian Express

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