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Novartis Found Symp. 2001;238:276-83; discussion 283-8.

Viruses causing diarrhoea in AIDS.

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Digestive Disease Research Centre, St Bartholomew's & Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Turner St, London E1 2AD, UK.


Opportunistic viral enteritis is an important gastrointestinal manifestation of HIV related disease. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a well established aetiological agent of disease in the gastrointestinal tract in this group. CMV enteritis may affect any region of the bowel, most commonly the colon. Diagnosis and management of these infections may be difficult. The role of other viruses in so-called 'pathogen-negative' diarrhoea remains controversial. The clinical importance of HIV-specific enteropathy is probably limited. Several viruses including astrovirus, picobirnavirus, small round structured virus and rotavirus have been implicated HIV-related diarrhoea. In addition, adenovirus has been linked to persistent diarrhoea in patients with a characteristic adenovirus colitis. The spectrum of disease morbidity and mortality amongst HIV patients has altered dramatically since the wide spread use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Opportunistic infections, including CMV infection of the gastrointestinal tract in patients with AIDS, have diminished greatly. AIDS patients with CMV are able successfully to discontinue anti-CMV treatment without disease reactivation and with a parallel reduction in CMV viraemia following the initiation of HAART.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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