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Int Immunopharmacol. 2001 Jul;1(7):1295-1305.

Long-term intake of Korean red ginseng in HIV-1-infected patients: development of resistance mutation to zidovudine is delayed.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 388-1 Pungnap-dong, Songpa-ku, Seoul 138-040, South Korea. ykcho2@www.amc.seoul.kr

Abstract

We have observed that CD4+ T cell counts in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-infected patients treated with only Korean red ginseng (KRG) are maintained or even increased for a prolonged period. In the present study, we investigated whether the development of resistance mutations in reverse transcriptase (RT) to zidovudine (ZDV) is delayed by combined therapy with KRG and ZDV. Nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and direct sequencing methods were used to define RT codons 41, 67, 70, 210, 215 and 219 of the HIV-1 pol gene in DNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) samples from 18 patients. Nine of these eighteen patients were in the KRG group and had been treated with KRG for 60 +/- 15 months (range: 38-82) and ZDV, and nine were in the control group and had been treated with ZDV only. The patients in the KRG group had been treated with ZDV for 75 +/- 24 months, and CD4+ T cell counts were maintained from 239 +/- 85 to 234 +/- 187 microliters-1 (P > 0.05) during the study period, whereas the patients in the control group had been treated with ZDV for 51 +/- 31 months, and their CD4+ T cell counts decreased from 272 +/- 97 to 146 +/- 154 microliters-1 (P < 0.01). In samples within 24 months of ZDV therapy, the overall incidence of 6 resistance mutations to ZDV was 4.2% and 47% in the KRG and control group (P < 0.01), respectively. In samples after 24 months of therapy, the incidence was 21.7% and 56.3% in the KRG and control group (P < 0.01), respectively. These data suggest that the maintenance of CD4+ T cell counts by ZDV and KRG-intake for a prolonged period might be indirectly associated with delayed development of resistance to ZDV by KRG-intake.

PMID:
11460310
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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