According to The Local, a rare genetic mutation linked to muscular dystrophy also protects against HIV infection. This mutation concerns the even rarer Transportin 3 gene, identified in type 1F limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. The gene plays a role in transporting HIV inside cells.
The Transportin 3 gene was found among members of a family in Spain suffering from the same type of muscular dystrophy. After discovering HIV researchers were interested in the gene, doctors studying the family contacted a group of geneticists in Madrid who then discovered the lymphocytes of the family were naturally resistant to HIV.
Jose Alcami, a virologist at the Carlos III Health Institute, stated, “ This helps us to understand much better the transport of the virus in the cell.”