Anti-fungal therapy at the HAART of viral therapy

Trends Microbiol. 2002 Apr;10(4):173-7. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(02)02330-2.


HIV-positive patients receiving combination therapy (highly active anti-retroviral treatment, HAART) suffer significantly fewer oral infections with the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans than non-HAART-treated patients. One component of HAART is an inhibitor of the HIV proteinase, the enzyme required for correct processing of retroviral precursor proteins. It would appear that HIV proteinase inhibitors also have a direct effect on one of the key virulence factors of C. albicans, the secreted aspartic proteinases (Saps). This suggests that the reduction in C. albicans infections in HIV-positive patients might not be solely the result of improved immunological status but could also be caused by the HAART treatment directly inhibiting Candida proteinases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy*
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / microbiology
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / chemistry
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Candida / drug effects*
  • Candida / enzymology
  • Candida / pathogenicity
  • Candidiasis, Oral / drug therapy*
  • Candidiasis, Oral / microbiology
  • Fungal Proteins*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protease Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Virulence


  • Fungal Proteins
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases
  • SAP1 protein, Candida albicans
  • SAP2 protein, Candida
  • SAP3 protein, Candida albicans