16 Sept 2015

Publication: Promising HIV cure drugs less effective on the virus in the brain

Dr Lachlan Gray, HIV researcher at the Burnet Institute
A Burnet Institute study has revealed treatments currently being trialed as a potential cure for HIV are less effective on the HIV virus in the brain compared to that found in the blood.

Published in the prestigious Nature journal, Molecular Psychiatry, the study tested a number of HIV ‘cure agents’ and found the two most promising of those, panobinostat and romidepsin, might not work effectively within the brain.

Research team member and first author, Burnet Institute Senior Research Officer, Dr Lachlan Gray said the research showed the HIV virus persisting in, and isolated from, the central nervous system is different to virus found in the blood.

Hear Lachlan Gray's interview with Dean Beck 'On The Line' JOY 94.9FM.
Reference: Gray LR, Cowley D, Welsh C, Lu HK, Brew BJ, Lewin SR, Wesselingh SL, Gorry PR, Churchill MJ. CNS-specific regulatory elements in brain-derived HIV-1 strains affect responses to latency-reversing agents with implications for cure strategies. Mol Psychiatry. 2015 Aug 25. doi: 10.1038/mp.2015.111. [Epub ahead of print]

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