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Biotherapy. 1996;9(1-3):49-54.

Preliminary results in HIV-1-infected patients treated with transfer factor (TF) and zidovudine (ZDV).

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  • 1Dept. of Infectious Diseases, Maggiore Hospital, Bologna, Italy.


The efficiency of HIV-1 specific transfer factor (TF) administration, combined with Zidovudine (ZDV), in asymptomatic persistent generalised lymphadenopaty, or AIDS related complex (ARC) patients was evaluated. Twenty patients were randomly assigned to receive only ZDV (1st group) or ZDV together with HIV-1-specific TF (2nd group). HIV-1-specific TF was administered orally at 2 x 10(7) cell equivalent daily for 15 days, and thereafter once a week for up to 6 months. There were no significant differences between the two groups in clinical evolution, red blood cells, haemoglobin, lymphocytes, CD20 subset, transaminases, beta-2-microglobulin, p24 antigen. White blood cells, CD8 lymphocytes as well as IL-2 levels increased in the second group, while the CD4 subset increased in the first group. The combination treatment with ZDV and TF appeared to be safe and well tolerated. Furthermore, levels of serum cytokines were investigated in 10 patients (8 asymptomatic and 2 ARC) treated with ZDV, and compared with 5 patients of the 2nd group (3 asymptomatic and 2 ARC) treated with ZDV plus HIV-1-specific TF. Peripheral lymphocytes, CD4, CD8 subsets, IL-2, TNF alpha, IL-6, p24 antigen, IL-2 soluble lymphocyte receptors (sR), CD4sR, CD8sR and beta-2-microglobulin were evaluated at the baseline and at the 3rd month. The CD4 subset was not significantly different in the two groups, whilst IL-2 increased in the 2nd group receiving ZDV plus TF, suggesting an activation of the Th1 secretion pattern.

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