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Multiplicity and HIV's course.


Multiplicity and HIV's clinical course

A study of four people infected with the AIDS-causing HIV virus has found that, over a four-year period, the viruses isolated from the patients became more virulent -- something scientists have suspected for some time. Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco said last week that the later isolates killed more white cells and multiplied faster than those taken from patients early in infection. Emergence of these more virulent viruses corresponded with clinical appearance of AIDS symptoms, say the scientists who conclude the increased virulence occurred inside the body rather than during laboratory procedures.

Reporting in the April 1 SCIENCE, Jay A. Levy and others suggest that tracking HIV isolates as they change in vivo will help explain the symptomatic course of the disease. Further studies, they say, "should provide information on the genes that determine the virulence of HIV-1, and identify potential targets for antiviral therapy." The California study reiterates the problems caused by HIV's many isolates and its ability to mutate rapidly. A recent study of a specific feline leukemia virus, which also causes fatal feline immunodeficiency syndrome, led scientists to conclude that current laboratory procedures may not be isolating the more virulent strains of HIV, thus misleading researchers (SN: 2/27/88, p.133).
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Publication:Science News
Date:Apr 9, 1988
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