Grouse shooting and AIDS

George M. Carter gmc0 at ix.netcom.com
Sat Sep 26 11:25:48 EST 1998

Donald Forsdyke <forsdyke at post.queensu.ca> wrote:


>    In the AIDS context, the guns are drugs such as AZT and (recently)
>the complex of drugs known as HAART. These hit AIDS viruses "on the
>wing", but are useless against latent virus which hides usually in DNA
>form seamlessly integrated into the DNA of its host cell. We need drugs
>to simulate the beaters. In 1991 it was suggested that cytokines such as
>TNF-alpha might fill this role. Recently some major laboratories have
>taken this up. For further details see the references below. 

Eek.  I think this idea is nuts.  Also, I believe there were studies
of TNF.  In any event, TNF may well be part of the problem.  To the
extent that a) AIDS is partly due to the death of many UNinfected CD4
cells and b) that excessive cell-death may be due in part to excessive
levels of TNF, this approach seems dangerous.

I think IL-2 might be, as Fauci suggests, a *slightly* better
approach, but that requires activation of all these quiescent,
infected cells--and unfortunately every other unnfected cell, too.
This is just not a reasonable idea and seems more likely to kill

It is wedded also to the notion that HIV disease is only successfully
fought with eradication.  This may not be true--adequate viral
suppression may be sufficient to end progression to AIDS.  (E.g.,
herpes viruses are often suppressed to the point of no pathological
sequelae without eradication.)

		George M. Carter

More information about the Immuno mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net