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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2001 Oct;21(10):861-9.

Low-dose IFN-alpha monotherapy in treatment-naive individuals with HIV-1 infection: evidence of potent suppression of viral replication.

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Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Athens University Medical School, Athens, Greece.


To evaluate the safety and antiviral action of interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) in HIV-1 infection, we undertook a proof of concept study in 27 treatment-naive patients. Eligible patients comprised two groups: the IFN-alphaT group (n = 17), which received 5 MIU IFN-alpha s.c. daily for 32 consecutive days, and the IFN-alphaNT group (n = 10), which did not receive IFN-alpha prior to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which was commenced on day 28 in both groups. IFN-alphaTreatment was well tolerated in 14 of the 17 patients of the IFN-alphaT group who completed the study. The mean HIV RNA reduction in the IFN-alphaT group on day 14 was 1.1 log(10). Viral load suppression was inversely associated with baseline viral load (p = 0.031). Four weeks after initiation of HAART, IFN-alphaT and IFN-alphaNT group patients had 2.40 and 1.82 log(10) HIV RNA reduction from baseline, respectively (p < 0.001). There was no evidence of cross-resistance with existing antiretrovirals in patients with HIV-RNA rebound after initial plasma viral load decline > or = 1 log(10) during IFN-alpha monotherapy. Thus, low daily IFN-alpha exhibits potent anti-HIV-1 activity in vivo without serious adverse effects. These properties render IFN-alpha an attractive candidate for further assessment as a constituent of HAART.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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