Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Another Virus, CMV, May Increase Death Risk In AIDS Patients

Date:
February 4, 2000
Source:
University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine
Summary:
AIDS patients may be at significantly greater risk of death when cytomegalovirus, CMV, circulates in their blood, new research at the University of North Carolina suggests.

CHAPEL HILL -- AIDS patients may be at significantly greater risk of death when cytomegalovirus, CMV, circulates in their blood, new research at the University of North Carolina suggests.

The new findings will be presented in San Francisco Wednesday February 2 at the 7th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. An issue raised by the study is whether or not people infected with HIV, especially those not benefiting from potent anti-retroviral therapy, should receive preemptive treatment with drugs against CMV, according to David Wohl, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, division of infectious diseases, at UNC-CH School of Medicine.

"CMV continues to be a severe opportunistic infection among persons with AIDS," he said. "It used to be devastating in this population. In 85% of these patients it involved the retina and often resulted in blindness."

Antibodies to CMV, a member of the herpes family of viruses, are estimated to occur in at least 60% of the adult population, indicating previous exposure to the virus. When active, CMV is more likely to cause end-organ disease in those with impaired immunity, including people with HIV and the elderly.

According to Wohl, an estimated 90 percent of AIDS patients at UNC have evidence of CMV exposure. "For men who have sex with men it's almost 100%." He notes that the recent decrease in CMV disease among AIDS patients is associated with the advent of newer HIV therapies. "But even with that decrease, some people still have CMV circulating in their blood. We wanted to see what the association was between having CMV in the blood and developing CMV disease or death from any other cause."

Using a variety of CMV tests, including several genetic assays, Wohl and his study collaborators determined that roughly one-quarter of HIV patients they tested at the UNC-NIH AIDS Clinical Trials Unit had CMV in their blood (CMV viremia). This cohort of 157 patients was followed-up for a median of two years.

When detected by one of the more sensitive tests (the CMV DNA PCR), a positive result for CMV in the blood was linked with an 11-fold increased risk of death.

"This test is different from other tests in that it looks for virus circulating in the blood outside the cells," Wohl explained. "That may be more meaningful than finding virus that's sequestered or hiding latent in some cells." The infectious disease specialist believes that CMV circulating in the blood may "rev up HIV, like throwing gasoline on a fire. And as a result you have people having a harder time who otherwise might have gained more control of their HIV infection."

The mainstays of current treatment for CMV involve intravenous injections of highly toxic antiviral drugs such as gancyclovir. These chemotherapies are toxic mainly to bone marrow and kidneys. However, according to Wohl, there is a treatment for eye infection that is more localized to that organ and without the systemic toxicity. It involves an ocular implant of gancyclovir pellets that slowly release the drug over 8-months. Wohl also notes that a potent oral version of gancyclovir may soon be available.

"In diverse clinic populations such as ours, a large component of patients have not benefited from HIV therapy, including those who choose not to accept treatment. Among the questions calling for more study are whether we should screen for CMV viremia in all AIDS patients, and will it be worthwhile to administer preemptive therapy to those who test positive?"

###

Along with Wohl, study collaborators from UNC are Susan Fiscus, Charles van der Horst, Jean Handy, William Pan, and David Rosen.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. "Another Virus, CMV, May Increase Death Risk In AIDS Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000204074719.htm>.
University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. (2000, February 4). Another Virus, CMV, May Increase Death Risk In AIDS Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000204074719.htm
University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine. "Another Virus, CMV, May Increase Death Risk In AIDS Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000204074719.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) 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:
from the past week

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