Researchers seek link between HIV/HCV infection and severe liver disease
Persons with both HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) develop liver disease that progresses faster and is more severe than it is in individuals with only one infection.
It’s not known why co-infection speeds up liver disease, but researchers at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth hope to find out with the help of a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Antiviral drugs allow patients with HIV to live longer, but those who are co-infected with HCV face a more than five-fold higher risk for cirrhosis-related liver complications.
Cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease accounts for approximately 50 percent of all deaths in co-infected patients and is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality of such patients in Western countries, said In-Woo Park, PhD, Associate Professor in Cell Biology and Immunology and the grant recipient.
"They’re not dying from AIDS," he said. "But they are dying from liver disease."
Dr. Park believes that the HIV-1 viral protein Nef plays a critical role in the acceleration of liver disease.
"If we can block the transfer of NEF, we may be able to at least impede or deter the progression of the liver disease," he said.
Once it is understood why liver disease progresses so rapidly in co-infected individuals, the next step is to develop prognostic biomarkers and therapies against this malady, Dr. Park said.
By Jan Jarvis S. Suresh Madhavan had just earned an MBA and was working at a good job in India when he made a decision that changed the course of his career. “I felt unfulfilled so I decided to come to the United States,” he said. “It was really out of a sense of adventure more than anyt...Read more
Apr 24, 2019
By Alex Branch Dr. Mindy Hansen’s path to becoming the top osteopathic resident physician in the United States started on the basketball hardwood in frigid Minnesota. A four-year shooting guard at the University of Minnesota, she loved being active, using her hands. She spent 15 years af...Read more
Apr 24, 2019
By Sally Crocker Dr. Witold Migala is ready to hit the road again. The epidemiologist who has traveled the world helping people from Haiti and Madagascar to Nigeria and beyond has lived, worked or experienced more than 75 countries during his lifetime. He was in the first UNT Health Sci...Read more
Apr 24, 2019
By Betsy Friauf E-Eycling Event Date: Tuesday, April 23 Time: 7:30-10:30 a.m. Location: Loading dock of the Medical Education and Training Building (near intersection of Bunting and Haskell avenues) Free to the public and the UNTHSC campus Get a free reusable straw set ...Read more
Apr 22, 2019