Author(s): Griffiths PD
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) has been proposed as a cofactor driving HIV pathogenicity since the late 1980s. Potential mechanisms which CMV could use as a cofactor have been described in vitro and potential criteria for assessing cofactor activity in vivo have been proposed. OBJECTIVE: To determine if recent publications have added new information to these in vitro or in vivo studies since the author last reviewed this subject in 1998. STUDY DESIGN: Literature survey prior to presenting an overview lecture. RESULTS: No new in vitro mechanisms have been described though several clinical cohort studies are consistent with the possibility that active CMV infection can act as a cofactor. One study published in 1999 showed that mortality in AIDS patients was driven more by CMV viral load than HIV viral load. Although highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has now greatly controlled end organ disease caused by CMV, a recent study showed that CMV viraemia was still strongly associated with death in AIDS patients. CONCLUSIONS: (1) CMV remains important in the era of HAART. (2) CMV has been underestimated as an important cofactor since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.
This article was published in J Clin Virol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology