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J Infect Dis. 2007 May 15;195(10):1443-51. Epub 2007 Apr 5.

Experimental infection with Haemophilus ducreyi in persons who are infected with HIV does not cause local or augment systemic viral replication.

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Department of Medicine, Indiana University, School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.


We infected 11 HIV-seropositive volunteers whose CD4(+) cell counts were >350 cells/ microL (7 of whom were receiving antiretrovirals) with Haemophilus ducreyi. The papule and pustule formation rates were similar to those observed in HIV-seronegative historical control subjects. No subject experienced a sustained change in CD4(+) cell count or HIV RNA level. The cellular infiltrate in biopsy samples obtained from the HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative subjects did not differ with respect to the percentage of leukocytes, neutrophils, macrophages, or T cells. The CD4(+):CD8(+) cell ratio in biopsy samples from the HIV-seropositive subjects was 1:3, the inverse of the ratio seen in the HIV-seronegative subjects (P<.0001). Although CD4(+) cells proliferated in lesions, in situ hybridization and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction for HIV RNA was negative. We conclude that experimental infection in HIV-seropositive persons is clinically similar to infection in HIV-seronegative persons and does not cause local or augment systemic viral replication. Thus, prompt treatment of chancroid may abrogate increases in viral replication associated with natural disease.

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