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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 1990;3(6):591-600.

Interferon-alpha and 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine are highly synergistic in mice and prevent viremia after acute retrovirus exposure.

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Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.


This study was undertaken to calculate the in vivo drug interactions between recombinant human interferon-alpha A/D (rHuIFN-alpha A/D) and 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (AZT) in a quantitative model for retroviral viremia. When given as single agents, both AZT and rHuIFN-alpha A/D suppressed virus-induced splenomegaly in a dose-dependent fashion in mice inoculated with Rauscher murine leukemia virus (RLV). However, suppressive doses of single-agent AZT caused anemia after 20 days of therapy. Combining rHuIFN-alpha A/D with AZT allowed drastic dose reductions for each agent while maintaining greater than or equal to 93% inhibition of splenomegaly. No clinically significant toxicity was seen. Computer analysis with the isobologram technique and combination index method showed that these combination regimens were highly synergistic. A 20-day course of AZT + rHuIFN-alpha A/D started 4 h after virus exposure was protective against RLV viremia and disease. After cessation of therapy, the animals were resistant to rechallenge with fully infectious RLV. We conclude that prompt initiation of effective combination therapy after retroviral exposure prevented viremia and disease and led to protective immunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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