The paradox phenomenon (i.e., the dissociation of increasing antigenemia and decreasing DNAemia and viremia) that occurs during treatment of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infections with ganciclovir (Gcv), in transplant recipients, was investigated by use of an in vitro model for the study of interactions between polymorphonuclear leukocytes and endothelial cells. The paradox phenomenon was reproduced in vitro in the presence of Gcv and, to a much lesser extent, in the presence of cidofovir, but not in the presence of foscarnet. The pathogenetic basis for such a paradox response was found, by use of drug concentrations in the range of 90%-99% of the inhibitory dose, to rely on the partial synthesis of HCMV phosphoprotein 65. The opposite situation (i.e., the simultaneous increase of antigenemia, viremia, and DNAemia), which is observed in clinical conditions associated with inefficacy of treatment due to drug-resistant strains, was also reproduced in vitro by use of drug-resistant HCMV strains. The conclusion for clinicians is that antiviral therapy must be changed only in the latter case.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health