Gene Therapy pp 91-101 | Cite as

HIV Gene Therapy: Current Status and Its Role in Therapy

  • Ernst Bohnlein
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 105)


In the early 1980s, surprisingly increasing numbers of patients with infections reminiscent of immune suppression were diagnosed predominantly in metropolitan US clinics. The common denominator appeared to be blood borne transmission of a virus as this patient group mostly comprised recipients of blood products (eg. factor VIII) and sexually active homosexual men. In 1983, a novel human retrovirus was isolated (2, 18, 24) and eventually named human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1), the etiologic agent of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIIDS). HIV-I disease is characterizedby an extended clinical latency period between the time of primary infection and the manifestation of the disease. IHV-1 infects cells of the hematopoietic system: CD4+ T lymphocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, and microglial cells of the central nervous system (25). Recent studies suggest that HIV1 actively replicates throughout the “latency” period which eventually leads to depletion of immune effector cells (19, 48). This cell loss turns into a dysfunctional immune system characterized by a multitude of malignancies (ie. lymphomas, Kaposi sarcoma) and opportunistic infections (ie. candida, PCP, CMV, etc.), a hallmark of AIDS.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Gene Therapy Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Antisense Transcript 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernst Bohnlein
    • 1
  1. 1.SystemixPalo AltoUSA

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