HIV Immunity

Essay by frankwangxzwCollege, UndergraduateA, September 2014

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HIV Resistance and Immunity

Xuezhen Wang

Summary of Article

The article, "Immune to HIV: How Do They Do It?", discusses the trait CCR5, and its role in preventing HIV infection of CD4+ T cells along with other uncommon mutations involving the immunity of some people against HIV. CCR5 is a mutation on CD4+ T cells involving a receptor where HIV latches and enters into the T cell, thereby killing the T cell and reproducing the HIV virus. The absence of this receptor, known as the mutation called CCR5 - delta 32, provides HIV resistance in the heterozygous individuals with the mutant and wild form and HIV immunity in homozygous mutant individuals. This mutation is found in about 10% of the Caucasian population, and is much rarer in other races and ethnicities across the globe. One protein that was mentioned in the articlethat also provided resistance against HIV was cystatin, which helps prevent HIV replication, and a gene called HLA, where certain copies of this gene allow cells to kill HIV virus effectively.

This article mentioned a bone-marrow transplant recipient with leukemia and AIDS, who received homozygous CCR5 - delta 32 genes through the transplant, that gained HIV immunity through it. Possible future applications of this include using bone marrow transplants or any other ways of altering the makeup of white blood cells of ones own body to gain HIV immunity, or using drugs to identify and target certain receptors to prevent the spread and replication of HIV. The article helps convey the impression that new cures or technological advances are certainly possible as seen through the recipient of the bone marrow transplant.

Background Information

To begin, human immunodifiency virus, or HIV, was a virus first identified in the 1980s that originated from Africa. HIV is commonly spread through unprotected sexual...