Mar 05, 2023
Today’s edition of our Current Affairs will comprise a discussion on HIV Resistant Genetic Mutation. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus.
For Prelims: General Science
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), CCR5-delta 32 mutation, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) medicines
For Mains: GS Paper III (Science and Technology)
About HIV Resistant Genetic Mutation, About CCR5 mutation, Drawbacks of HIV transplant treatment, Current treatments for HIV.
A 53-year-old German man recently became the third person to successfully treat HIV using bone marrow from donors with a particular genetic mutation that makes people resistant to the virus.
Describe the effects of a bone marrow transplant containing a particular mutation that makes people HIV-resistant. (150 words, 10 marks)
It is significant to know that the guidelines for genetic editing prohibit germ-line editing.
Germ-line editing is a genome that can be passed from one generation to the other, as the editing techniques are not very precise and the long-term consequences of such editing are unknown.
News Source: The Indian Express
The CCR5-delta 32 mutation, which is naturally present primarily in Europeans, may make it easier for people of different races to receive transplants, making HIV-resistant genetic mutation important.
The HIV virus enters the body through the CCR5 receptors on the surface of CD4 immune cells. The CCR5-delta 32 mutation blocks the surface formation of these HIV virus-used receptors, thus closing the doorway.
Only 1% of the world's population carries the CCR5-delta 32 mutation in two copies, meaning they acquired it from both parents. While 20% of people, mostly those with European ancestry, carry one copy of the mutation. People who have the mutation are therefore essentially immune to the infection, though some cases have been documented.
A genetic test exists that would enable the identification of such CCR5 mutations. The procedure for the test entails drawing some blood and sending it to the lab for genetic analysis.
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