Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Those Infected with HIV May Benefit From Infection with Another Virus, Says Jefferson Virologist

04.03.2004


Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Roger Pomerantz, M.D., suggests that understanding how HIV interacts with another virus, GBV-C, may help researchers devise improved therapies.



Another virus could hold a key to helping researchers devise new strategies against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. A new study appearing March 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that individuals infected with two viruses – HIV and the little known GBV-C – actually do better than those infected with only HIV.

According to Roger J. Pomerantz, M.D., professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular pharmacology, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Environmental Medicine and director of the Center for Human Virology and Biodefense at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, the HIV-GBV-C connection may be the first known example of infection with two human viruses being better for a person than infection with only one – in this case, HIV.


“The [New England Journal] paper is very important because it sets to rest a controversial issue,” says Dr. Pomerantz, who co-wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal. The study analyzed results from the Multicenter Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Cohort Study, which involved following a large group of HIV-infected men in the United States over 15 years. “People who are dual-infected do better than those infected with only HIV. They do better in terms of being less likely and taking a longer time to progress to AIDS, in addition to being less likely to die from AIDS.”

Understanding this viral relationship, he says, could have important implications.

“If we could understand the mechanism behind this phenomenon, maybe we could copy nature and develop a copycat molecule – and a better antiviral,” Dr. Pomerantz says.

Dr. Pomerantz should know. He was skeptical when he initially encountered several small, unconfirmed studies a few years ago showing that HIV-infected individuals appeared to do better when they also were infected with GBV-C. Viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus and herpes simplex 2, for example, are supposed to make things worse. And GBV-C, which is closely related to hepatitis viruses and which until recently was called hepatitis G virus, doesn’t cause any known disease.

In July, he and his co-workers at Jefferson and at the University of Catania in Sicily, reported results in the Annals of Internal Medicine of their study in which they compared a group of individuals in Sicily infected with both viruses (the combination of infections is more prevalent in Mediterranean countries) to those with only HIV. They too found the former group did surprisingly better. “It took longer for them to progress to AIDS, and fewer progressed,” he says, even when they “normalized the data for drugs” they took. Pomerantz offers some potential explanations for the findings of both studies.

In his group’s study, he says, the researchers found a difference in the T cells and the cytokines, the chemicals made to control the immune system. “Those who are dual-infected have a better, more protective cytokine profile, one that’s found in healthier people than that found in individuals just infected with HIV,” he explains.

Perhaps, he says, GBV-C somehow maintains the “good cytokine” profile, “enabling individuals to mount a stronger immune response to HIV, keeping them healthier and better able to keep the viral load lower.”

Another possibility, he notes, is that GBV-C could somehow interfere with HIV entry into cells. Some laboratory data show GBV-C may decrease the co-receptor that allows HIV into cells, in effect acting as a “viral antiviral.” GBV-C might also activate certain types of innate immunity, which involve known cellular factors that protect cells.

Steven Benowitz | TJUH
Further information:
http://www.jeffersonhospital.org/news/e3front.dll?durki=17561

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>