US scientists use HIV to cure 8 infants of an immunodeficiency disease - The Sauce
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Lifestyle

US scientists use HIV to cure 8 infants of an immunodeficiency disease

US scientists say they used HIV to make a gene therapy that cured eight infants of severe combined immunodeficiency, or “bubble boy” disease.

According to BBC, the babies, born with little to no immune protection, now have fully functional immune systems.
Untreated babies with this disorder have to live in completely sterile conditions such as bubbles and tend to die as infants.

The gene therapy involved collecting the babies’ bone marrow and correcting the genetic defect in their DNA soon after their birth. Now, the “correct” gene used to fix the defect was inserted into an altered version of one of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Researchers said most of the babies were discharged from the hospital within one month. Dr. Ewelina Mamcarz of St Jude, an author of the study, said in a statement: “These patients are toddlers now, who are responding to vaccinations and have immune systems to make all immune cells they need for protection from infections as they explore the world and live normal lives.”

“This is a first for patients with SCID-X1,” she added, referring to the most common type of SCID.
The patients were treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco.

The case of David Vetter is perhaps the most famous case of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a disease that made it impossible for him to engage with the world outside a plastic chamber. Nicknamed “Bubble Boy”, Vetter was born in 1971 with the disease and died at the age of 12 after a failed bone marrow transplant.

Within 20 seconds of his birth at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, he was placed in a plastic isolation chamber, where he lived until the age of six when he was given a special plastic suit designed by Nasa, the US space agency.

Currently, the best treatment for SCID-XI is a bone marrow transplant with a tissue-matched sibling donor. But according to St Jude, more than 80% of these patients lack such donors and must rely on blood stem cells from other donors. This process is less likely to cure the bubble boy disease and is more likely to cause serious side effects as a result of treatment.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Advertisement

Some More Sauce...

Lifestyle

Kenyans on Twitter woke up to an explicit video that has since gone viral. In the video, a woman who is known on social...

Da Squeeze

Who remembers the time when sex was simple. Well, nowadays there are a lot of weird fetishes that we can’t even keep track of...

Da Squeeze

Kenyan beauty Tanasha Donna Oketch recently opened up about her life. The 24 year old former radio presenter, musician and mother of one is...

Featured

Ugandan TV journalist Simon Kaggwa Njala’s face has got to be one of the memed faces of 2019.   But how did this Ugandan...

Featured

The Free Mason society is known to be secretive and very private, but not anymore it may seem. The Freemason society based in Nairobi...

Da Squeeze

Kenya has a robust matatu culture and some people around the world love it. Award winning American singer and dancer Chris Brown yesterday (23.03.20)...

Da Squeeze

Is there a woman making your heart skip a beat? She might be a secret woman of your life.  Most women love, but they...

Featured

Ex Zimbabwean leader  Robert Mugabe was given a heroic state funeral on Saturday (14.09.19) and above all, he will be remembered for his great...