Enhancement of HIV-1 cytocidal effects in CD4+ lymphocytes by the AIDS-associated mycoplasma

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Science  01 Mar 1991:
Vol. 251, Issue 4997, pp. 1074-1076
DOI: 10.1126/science.1705362


Coinfection with Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus strain) enhances the ability of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) to induce cytopathic effects on human T lymphocytes in vitro. Syncytium formation of HIV-infected T cells was essentially eliminated in the presence of M. fermentans (incognitus strain), despite prominent cell death. However, replication and production of HIV-1 particles continued during the coinfection. Furthermore, the supernatant from cultures coinfected with HIV-1 and the mycoplasma contained a factor that inhibited the standard reverse transcriptase enzyme assay. The modification of the biological properties of HIV-1 by coinfection with mycoplasma may be involved in the pathogenesis of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

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