Saturday, 26 May 2012

Hiv Gene Therapy, An Alternative Treatment


What is HIV?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that causes progressive failure of the immune system thus exposing the body to various infections and cancer.[3]
Statistics – According to Australian statistics in 2009, there were 29 395 cases.
Transmission – blood, semen, vaginal fluid, inheritance.
HAART – Highly active antiretroviral therapy – side effects – loss of appetite, tendency to develop infections and renal damage.
How does the anti-HIV gene work?
The miracle of this treatment is an anti-HIV gene obtained from a genetically engineered mouse virus, OZ1.[1]
The patients are firstly administered with a growth factor that stimulates growth of white blood cells.[1]
The blood is extracted to obtain blood stem cells which will be infected with the OZ1 gene.[1] OZ1 encodes an RNA molecule called a ribozyme, which specifically targets and inactivates HIV genes.[1]
Once the blood stem cells are transfused back into the blood circulatory system, the infected cells affect the bone marrow and populate it with HIV-resistant T cells.[1] Thus, more of the body’s T cells should be HIV resistant. 
Research – UCLA researcher Ronald T. Mitsuyasu, MD, and his colleagues, the OZ1 gene therapy used in the 100-week study resulted in no harmful side effects.
HIV did not develop resistance to the anti-HIV ribozyme gene.
Anti-HIV gene was effective such that CD4 T cells, which are white blood cells prone to HIV, saw an increase in cell count
(The significant mechanism by which HIV patients develop immunodeficiency is through the loss of CD4 T cells. [1] Therefore, this gene therapy has high hopes for restoring the immune system of HIV/AIDS patients).
Conclusion
HIV gene therapy research has a promising future to suppress HIV from attacking CD4 T cells and subsequently lowering the body’s immune system.

3 comments:

  1. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

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