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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2003 May;68(5):557-61.

In vitro reactivation of human immunodeficiency virus-1 upon stimulation with scrub typhus rickettsial infection.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan.


While a number of microbial infections induce a transient burst in viral load in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), a recent study has suggested that scrub typhus may suppress HIV-1 infection. We investigated the effects of Orientia tsutsugamushi on HIV-1 infection. In vitro HIV-1 infection experiments were conducted using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) acutely infected with R5 and X4 HIV-1 or PBMC derived from patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) whose plasma viral load was undetectable. Stimulation of PBMC with O. tsutsugamushi induced production of proinflammatory cytokines and beta-chemokines, and markedly down-regulated expression of CCR5. Although pretreatment with O. tsutsugamushi rendered PBMC resistant to R5 HIV-1, it otherwise enhanced HIV-1 replication. Stimulation by O. tsutsugamushi induced HIV-1 replication in PBMC from patients receiving HAART. These findings suggest that scrub typhus does not necessarily suppress HIV-1 infection and does have potential to enhance HIV-1 replication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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