Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation was the only medical intervention that has cured two people infected with HIV. However, scientists from Hamburg and Cologne, have been able to identify a recent case of HIV infection, a 53-year-old man dubbed as the “Düsseldorf patient”, that has been cured with the same procedure. After ten years, this patient’s successful healing process is comprehensively characterized virologically and immunologically.
The patient received a stem cell transplant for a blood cancer at the University Hospital Düsseldorf. As what was conducted on the first two patients "Berlin" and "London", the patient obtained stem cells from a healthy donor whose genome held a mutation in the gene for HIV-1 co-receptor CCR5. This specific mutation makes it impossible for the majority of the HI viruses to enter their target cells, the human CD4+ T-lymphocytes.