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Interferon-alpha, immune activation and immune dysfunction in treated HIV infection

Cha, L., Berry, C.M., Nolan, D., Castley, A., Fernandez, S. and French, M.A. (2014) Interferon-alpha, immune activation and immune dysfunction in treated HIV infection. Clinical & Translational Immunology, 3 (2). e10.

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Type I interferons (IFNs) exert anti-viral effects through the induction of numerous IFN-stimulated genes and an immunomodulatory effect on innate and adaptive immune responses. This is beneficial in controlling virus infections but prolonged IFN-α activity in persistent virus infections, such as HIV infection, may contribute to immune activation and have a detrimental effect on the function of monocytes and T and B lymphocytes. Activation of monocytes, associated with increased IFN-α activity, contributes to atherosclerotic vascular disease, brain disease and other ‘age-related diseases’ in HIV patients treated with long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART). In HIV patients receiving ART, the anti-viral effects of IFN-α therapy have the potential to contribute to eradication of HIV infection while IFN-α inhibitor therapy is under investigation for the treatment of immune activation. The management of HIV patients receiving ART will be improved by understanding more about the opposing effects of IFN-α on HIV infection and disease and by developing methods to assess IFN-α activity in clinical practice.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Copyright: © 2014 Australasian Society for Immunology Inc.
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