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 Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht Overdosing on Calcium
19.06.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

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: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Creating a new composite fuel for new-generation fast reactors

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Game-changing finding pushes 3D-printing to the molecular limit

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Could this material enable autonomous vehicles to come to market sooner?

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>