The answer, Dr. Cohen says, "was a resounding no." The investigators found that nonprogressors with one copy of the mutant CCR5 gene were indistinguishable from nonprogressors with two normal copies of the gene with regard to all immunologic and virologic parameters they measured, including CD4+ T cell counts and viral load in the bloodstream and lymph nodes.
"Although an HIV-infected individual who carries one copy of the mutant CCR5 gene has an increased chance of becoming a long-term nonprogressor, other factors in the complex interaction between HIV and the body allow individuals with normal copies of the gene to maintain similar immunologic status."
What explains the epidemiological data that show many people with the CCR5 gene mutation in cohorts of long-term nonprogressors?
time of initial infection with HIV, people with
the specific mutation in the CCR5 gene have lower
levels of virus in their blood and a smaller
Contact: Greg Folkers
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases