Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Despite The Best Available Anti-AIDS Drugs, Jefferson Scientists Detect Active HIV In The Bloodstream

Date:
November 4, 1999
Source:
Jefferson Medical College
Summary:
The best AIDS drugs are still not good enough. Scientists at Jefferson Medical College have found evidence for the first time of actively replicating HIV in the bloodstream of patients taking the most powerful anti-AIDS virus drugs available.

They call for better detection and improved drugs to eradicate the virus

Related Articles


The best AIDS drugs are still not good enough. Scientists at Jefferson Medical College have found evidence for the first time of actively replicating HIV in the bloodstream of patients taking the most powerful anti-AIDS virus drugs available.

Scientists knew that the combination of drugs known as HAART, highly active antiretroviral therapy, did not eradicate the AIDS virus, despite the fact that the virus could not be detected by conventional means in the patient’s blood. But they thought that the drugs had at least arrested the virus from replicating. No one had been able to find active virus in the blood of patients still on the drugs.

Until now.

Roger J. Pomerantz, MD, professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular pharmacology, and chief of the division of infectious diseases at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and his co-workers examined 22 HIV-infected patients taking HAART. Using ultrasensitive molecular techniques, he and his team found evidence of active virus in the blood plasma of every patient.

The researchers report their results Nov. 3 in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"No one has shown in patients taking these drugs that the virus spills out of the immune cells it normally infects and into the blood, possibly infecting other cells," says Dr. Pomerantz, who also directs Jefferson’s Center for Human Virology. "There had not been replication previously detectable in the bloodstream or in genital fluids.

"It teaches us something if we’re going to eradicate the virus," he says. "We need to be able to stop replication before we think about eradication."

Dr. Pomerantz calls for better detection methods as well.

"In the era of HAART, a lot of the new technologies in laboratories need to be more generalized because now in many cases you’re dealing with low levels of virus."

The researchers looked at people taking HAART, a combination therapy of protease and reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and had no detectable virus in their blood by the best available clinical assays. All patients had fewer than 50 copies of virus per milliliter of blood plasma. Using extremely sensitive techniques, they found active virus in every person, whether the patient had been taking the drugs for months or years.

A recent study of patients on HAART and a drug called IL-2 showed that when the drugs were halted, all patients’ viruses returned to earlier levels. "Scientists had thought there was no replicating virus – that it was latent and inactive while the patient was taking drugs," he says. "It makes sense that patients will grow more virus and develop symptoms again once drugs are stopped. We were unable to find anyone without replicating virus. We showed that not only can the virus infect cells close to where the viruses are produced, but it also could spread and possibly infect other cells."

Dr. Pomerantz’s group also found active virus in the seminal fluid of 10 patients. They previously reported that the AIDS virus is still present in a potentially infectious inactive, "latent" form in the semen of infected men taking HAART, even when no measurable virus could be found in the blood.

"Now we have two things we’re dealing with in these patients: residual HIV that’s replicating and residual HIV that’s latent," he says. He’s using these new findings in ongoing clinical studies to attempt to eradicate HIV in certain patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Jefferson Medical College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Jefferson Medical College. "Despite The Best Available Anti-AIDS Drugs, Jefferson Scientists Detect Active HIV In The Bloodstream." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991104070908.htm>.
Jefferson Medical College. (1999, November 4). Despite The Best Available Anti-AIDS Drugs, Jefferson Scientists Detect Active HIV In The Bloodstream. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991104070908.htm
Jefferson Medical College. "Despite The Best Available Anti-AIDS Drugs, Jefferson Scientists Detect Active HIV In The Bloodstream." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991104070908.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins