Herpesviridae Infections &the Progression of Aids

Period of Performance: 05/01/1989 - 05/31/1990


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Digene Diagnostics, Inc.
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Principal Investigator


AIDS is a clinical syndrome resulting from the interaction of a wide variety of pathogens with the immune system. The classic progression is from HIV exposure to seroconversion to ARC to AIDS. Accurate diagnosis of pathogens other than HIV is necessary to determine the progression of disease and appropriate therapy. Also, evidence suggests that viral interaction accelerates the progression from ARC to AIDS and death. If so, rapid diagnosis of these viruses os of extreme importance. DNA probes directly linked to enzymes can be quickly, easily, and effectively used to diagnose and quantify the presence of these viral pathogens, regardless of the status of the immune responses, antigen masking, or therapeutic intervention. In Phase I, DIGENE's directly labeled DNA probes will be used in rapid in situ hybridizations to detect the presence of viruses in AIDS-associated disorders, such as hairy leukoplakia, Kaposi's sarcoma, other skin disease, and pneumonia. The quantity and histologic location of these viruses will be investigated. Phase II would apply these findings by studying the pathogenesis of various AIDS-associated disorders and the significance of herpesviruses on HIV replication to determine if various antiviral therapies decrease viral replication.