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Lancet. 1985 Mar 9;1(8428):537-40.

Acute AIDS retrovirus infection. Definition of a clinical illness associated with seroconversion.


In the course of a prospective immunoepidemiological study of homosexual men in Sydney, seroconversion to the AIDS-associated retrovirus (ARV) was observed in 12 subjects. Review of the clinical files defined an acute infectious-mononucleosis-like illness in 11 subjects. The illness was of sudden onset, lasted from 3 to 14 days, and was associated with fevers, sweats, malaise, lethargy, anorexia, nausea, myalgia, arthralgia, headaches, sore throat, diarrhoea, generalised lymphadenopathy, a macular erythematous truncal eruption, and thrombocytopenia. In 1 subject an incubation period of 6 days after presumed exposure to ARV was determined and in 3 subjects seroconversion took place 19, 32, and 56 days after onset. Comparison of T-cell subsets before and after the acute illness showed inversion of T4:T8 ratio in 8 subjects, due to increased numbers of circulating T8+ cells. These findings support the notion of an acute clinical, immunological, and serological response to infection with ARV which should be considered in the differential diagnosis of mononucleosis-like syndromes in groups at high risk for the development of AIDS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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