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Journal of Immune Based Therapies and Vaccines

, 3:3

First Online: 18 May 2005Received: 04 February 2005Accepted: 18 May 2005


The HIV-AIDS epidemic continues to spread despite more than 20 years of significant research and major advances in its treatment. The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy in recent years has significantly improved disease treatment with a dramatic impact in HIV-AIDS associated morbidity and mortality in countries which have access to this therapy. Despite these advances, such therapies are imperfect and other therapeutic modalities, including immune-based therapies, are being actively sought. Potential benefits of immune-based therapies include: 1 the improvement of HIV-specific immunity to enhance control of viral replication, 2 the improvement of other aspects of host immunity in order to prevent or delay the development of opportunistic infections and 3 the potential to purge virus from cellular reservoirs which are sustained despite the effects of potent antiretroviral therapy. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor GM-CSF has been studied as one of these immune-based therapies. Several randomized, controlled trials have demonstrated benefits of using GM-CSF as an adjunct to conventional anti-retroviral therapy, although such benefits have not been universally observed. Individual studies have shown that GM-CSF increases CD4+ T cells counts and may be associated with decreased plasma HIV RNA levels. There is limited evidence that GM-CSF may help prevent the emergence of antiretroviral drug resistant viruses and that it may decrease the risk of infection in advanced HIV disease. Despite its high costs and the need to be administered subcutaneously, encouraging results continue to emerge from further studies, suggesting that GM-CSF has the potential to become an effective agent in the treatment of HIV infection.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1476-8518-3-3 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Pierre Antoine Brown - Jonathan B Angel


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