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Antiviral Res. 1991 Sep;16(2):163-71.

Factors influencing zidovudine efficacy when administered at early stages of Friend virus infection in mice.

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Unité de Recherches U 13 INSERM, Hôpital Claude Bernard, Paris, France.


Strategies for zidovudine (AZT) administration in retrovirus infection may greatly influence treatment efficacy, especially in the case of early intervention. Antiretroviral activity of AZT in mice infected with Friend leukemia virus (FLV) has been investigated using various experimental protocols. Mice were inoculated with FLV and treated with AZT either 1 or 4 h after inoculation. A dose/effect relationship of AZT therapy was established for two different loads of virus inoculum. The effects of treatment duration (5 or 14 days) and route of administration (b.i.d. subcutaneous injection or administration in drinking water) were also evaluated. In all cases AZT therapy suppressed or reduced virus-induced splenomegaly and increased survival time. AZT therapy was more effective when started 1 h rather than 4 h after virus inoculation. A mutual influence between the dosage of the antiviral drug and the virus inoculum size was observed. A 5-day therapy was inadequate to suppress infection. AZT therapy led to similar results whether administered subcutaneously or in drinking water. The present results suggest that AZT efficacy declines when the inoculum size is increased, when the initiation of treatment is delayed and when treatment duration is shortened.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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