Mississippi Baby Born with HIV Infection Cured for the First Time
A Mississippi baby is cured of HIV infection for the first time after receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) within 30 hours of birth, according to a news release. This new finding paves the way for eradicating HIV infection in children.
The team of researchers from Johns Hopkins Children's Center, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical School refer to this as the first case of 'functional cure' in an HIV infant.
Like Us on Facebook
The detail on the report was presented Sunday March 3 at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta.
"Prompt antiviral therapy in newborns that begins within days of exposure may help infants clear the virus and achieve long-term remission without lifelong treatment by preventing such viral hideouts from forming in the first place," Johns Hopkins Children's Center virologist Deborah Persaud, M.D., lead author of the report, said in a press statement.
The newborn girl received antiretroviral therapy (ART) within 30 hours of birth. This treatment halted the formation of dormant cells, which are responsible of flaring up the infections again in HIV patients, within weeks of the therapy being stopped.
Tests done 29 days after birth showed undetectable levels of viral presence. Until 18 months of age, the child was kept on antivirals. Of the standard blood tests conducted after discontinuation of treatment, none of the reports showed signs of HIV infection.
The researcher's next plan is to find out if this is an unusual response to early antiretroviral therapy and whether they can replicate it in newborns who are at a high risk of the infection.
The primary goal of the researchers is to prevent the mother-to-child transmission.