HIV-infected macaques treated with stem cell transplant in US: Report

ANKARA  (AA): The HIV virus, which causes AIDS, was treated with stem cell transplantation in a study on primates in the US, according to a report in SciTech Daily.

Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University studied HIV-carrying macaques, which are often used in AIDS research because they show HIV susceptibility.

Four out of eight HIV-carrying macaques received stem cell transplants from healthy donors.

Two out of four, which developed graft versus host disease (GVHD) after transplantation and were treated for it, were HIV-negative four years after treatment.

Noting that HIV in the treated macaque group was first cleared from the blood and then the lymph nodes, researchers think in people who showed signs of recovery after cell transplant treatment, the disease relapsed when HIV accumulated in the lymph nodes entered the circulation.

“Our research results show the importance of linking macaque studies with human research for answers that might not otherwise be available,” said Richard Maziarz, co-author of the study.

In the future, researchers plan to detect the molecules attacked by the immune systems of the two macaques they have successfully treated.

The study could pave the way for a definitive cure for AIDS, which affects nearly 38 million people worldwide.

The results of the research were published in the journal, Immunity.