Back to Journals » HIV/AIDS - Research and Palliative Care » Volume 3

Antimicrobial therapy for the treatment of opportunistic infections in HIV/AIDS patients: a critical appraisal

Authors Seddon J, Bhagani S

Published 4 April 2011 Volume 2011:3 Pages 19—33


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Jo Seddon1, Sanjay Bhagani2
1Department of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK; 2Department of Infection and Immunity, Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust, London, UK

Abstract: The widespread use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has entirely changed the management of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and dramatically reduced the rates of opportunistic infections (OI). However, OI continue to cause significant morbidity and mortality in both developed countries, where presentation with advanced HIV infection is common, and also in developing countries where ART is less widely available. Evidence to direct OI guidelines is partly limited by the fact that many large-scale studies date from the pre-ART era and more recent studies are sometimes poorly powered due to the falling rates of OI. Treatment of OI is now known to be as much about antimicrobials as about immune reconstitution with ART, and recent studies help guide the timing of initiation of ART in different infections. OI have also become complicated by the immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome phenomenon which may occur once successful immune recovery begins. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole has long been one of the most important antibiotics in the treatment and prevention of OI and remains paramount. It has a broad spectrum of activity against Pneumocystis jiroveci, toxoplasmosis, and bacterial infections and has an important role to play in preventing life-threatening OI. New advances in treating OI are coming from a variety of quarters: in cytomegalovirus eye disease, the use of oral rather than intravenous drugs is changing the face of therapy; in cryptococcal meningitis, improved drug formulations and combination therapy is improving clearance rates and reducing drug toxicities; and in gut disease, the possibility of rapid immune restitution with ART is replacing the need for antimicrobials against cryptosporidia and microsporidia.

Keywords: HIV, AIDS, opportunistic infections, treatment, antimicrobials

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]


Readers of this article also read:

Emerging and future therapies for hemophilia

Carr ME, Tortella BJ

Journal of Blood Medicine 2015, 6:245-255

Published Date: 3 September 2015

A new recombinant factor VIII: from genetics to clinical use

Santagostino E

Drug Design, Development and Therapy 2014, 8:2507-2515

Published Date: 12 December 2014

Green synthesis of water-soluble nontoxic polymeric nanocomposites containing silver nanoparticles

Prozorova GF, Pozdnyakov AS, Kuznetsova NP, Korzhova SA, Emel’yanov AI, Ermakova TG, Fadeeva TV, Sosedova LM

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:1883-1889

Published Date: 16 April 2014

Methacrylic-based nanogels for the pH-sensitive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil in the colon

Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5769-5779

Published Date: 15 November 2012

A novel preparation method for silicone oil nanoemulsions and its application for coating hair with silicone

Hu Z, Liao M, Chen Y, Cai Y, Meng L, Liu Y, Lv N, Liu Z, Yuan W

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5719-5724

Published Date: 12 November 2012

Cross-linked acrylic hydrogel for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs in cancer therapy

Deepa G, Thulasidasan AK, Anto RJ, Pillai JJ, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:4077-4088

Published Date: 27 July 2012

Crystallization after intravitreal ganciclovir injection

Pitipol Choopong, Nattaporn Tesavibul, Nattawut Rodanant

Clinical Ophthalmology 2010, 4:709-711

Published Date: 14 July 2010