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J Infect Dis. 1995 Apr;171(4):822-8.

Identification of human immunodeficiency virus primary isolates resistant to interferon-alpha and correlation of prevalence to disease progression.

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Oncology Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) primary isolates, derived from donors at various stages of HIV infection, were assayed for their sensitivity to interferon (IFN)-alpha 2 in vitro. These isolates displayed a broad range of sensitivity to IFN-alpha 2. The prevalence of IFN-alpha 2 resistance was low in the absence of AIDS but dramatically increased once HIV infection progressed to AIDS. Although there was no linear correlation between the percentage of IFN-alpha 2 inhibition in vitro and the CD4 cell number in vivo or the level of endogenous IFN-alpha, serum IFN-alpha levels were higher in donors with AIDS and were associated with low CD4 cell numbers. Thus, circulating IFN-alpha appeared to either promote resistance or favor survival of IFN-alpha resistant variants. IFN-alpha 2 resistance was neither limited to a particular cell tropism nor enhanced by therapy with zidovudine. Sequential analysis indicated that reversion to IFN-alpha 2 sensitivity could occur during the course of infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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