The cause of death of a patient in a July gene therapy trial was a massive fungal infection, according to an initial autopsy report presented at the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee meeting today (September 17). Preliminary evidence suggests that adeno-associated virus (AAV), the vector which delivered the therapy, was not to blame, experts said. The subject, Jolee Mohr, 36, died from widespread histoplasmosis accompanied by a hematoma that ruptured her organs, according John Hart, a pathologist at the University of Chicago who presented the autopsy results. At the time of her death, she had disseminated histoplasmosis in several organs of her body. Although it is highly unlikely that AAV was responsible for the infection, further tests looking for presence of the expressed protein are needed to conclusively rule out the possibility, according to speakers at the panel."It seems that systemic histoplasmosis was a major contributing event that led to...

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