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HIV infection of the gastrointestinal tract

  • T. Schneider
  • V. Zeitz
Part of the Immunology and Medicine Series book series (IMME, volume 31)

Abstract

There is growing evidence that the gastrointestinal tract is fundamentally involved in the pathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Even before the aetiology of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was known, it was recognized that the gastrointestinal tract is frequently affected by opportunistic infections and malignancies [1]. During the course of HIV infection most of the patients develop gastrointestinal symptoms. In Europe and North America, prior to the introduction of the highly active antiretroviral combination therapy (HAART), about 18-50% of HIV-infected patients suffered from diarrhoea [2-4]. In developing countries like Zaire or Haiti the percentage of AIDS-patients with diarrhoea is even higher at about 90% [5,6]. In Africa, the clinical symptoms of weight loss and diarrhoea are so prominent that AIDS is commonly referred to as “slim disease” [7]. These observations indicate that during the infection with HIV not only the peripheral immune system is disturbed but also the specialized local immune system termed gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). Therefore intestinal HIV/SIV-infection may represent a model for a mucosal immune defect.

Keywords

Human Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type Lamina Propria Intestinal Mucosa Acquire Immunodeficiency Syndrome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Schneider
  • V. Zeitz

There are no affiliations available

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