HIV became a remedy for treating immunodeficiency
American scientists have used HIV to create gene therapy. Thanks to virus they cured eight children with severe combined immunodeficiency, BBC reports. The children from birth had virtually no immune protection due to a genetic defect. So, they had to live in complete isolation and sterile conditions.
The tested therapy suggested a bone marrow sampling and DNA defect correction by introducing the correct version of the gene. A modified strain of HIV has become the method of gene delivery. As a result, the children recovered immunity and left hospital a month later. Today the children respond well to vaccination and have a full set of immune cells for normal protection.
According to the scientists, this is a real breakthrough, because the only available treatment is a bone marrow transplant obtained from a perfectly suitable donor-relative. However, more than 80% of patients cannot find a suitable donor.