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Trends Microbiol. 2002 Apr;10(4):173-7.

Anti-fungal therapy at the HAART of viral therapy.

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Dept of Molecular and Cell Biology, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, UK.


HIV-positive patients receiving combination therapy (highly active anti-retroviral treatment, HAART) suffer significantly fewer oral infections with the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans than non-HAART-treated patients. One component of HAART is an inhibitor of the HIV proteinase, the enzyme required for correct processing of retroviral precursor proteins. It would appear that HIV proteinase inhibitors also have a direct effect on one of the key virulence factors of C. albicans, the secreted aspartic proteinases (Saps). This suggests that the reduction in C. albicans infections in HIV-positive patients might not be solely the result of improved immunological status but could also be caused by the HAART treatment directly inhibiting Candida proteinases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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