Resistance, remission, and qualitative differences in HIV chemotherapy.
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Resistance, remission, and qualitative differences in HIV chemotherapy.

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    • Alternative Title:
      Emerg Infect Dis
    • Description:
      To understand the role of qualitative differences in multidrug chemotherapy for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in virus remission and drug resistance, we designed a mathematical system that models HIV multidrug chemotherapy including uninfected CD4+ T cells, infected CD4+ T cells, and virus populations. The model, which includes the latent and progressive stages of the disease and introduces chemotherapy, is a system of differential equations describing the interaction of two distinct classes of HIV (drug-sensitive [wild type] and drug-resistant [mutant]) with lymphocytes in the peripheral blood; the external lymphoid system contributes to the viral load. The simulations indicate that to preclude resistance, antiviral drugs must be strong enough and act fast enough to drive the viral population below a threshold level. The threshold depends upon the capacity of the virus to mutate to strains resistant to the drugs. Above the threshold, mutant strains rapidly replace wild-type strains. Below the threshold, resistant strains do not become established, and remission occurs. An important distinction between resistance and remission is the reduction of viral production in the external lymphoid system. Also the virus population rapidly rebounds when treatment is stopped even after extended periods of remission.
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