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1.  Interaction between Endogenous Bacterial Flora and Latent HIV Infection 
Human commensal bacteria do not normally cause any diseases. However, in certain pathological conditions, they exhibit a number of curious behaviors. In HIV infection, these bacteria exhibit bidirectional relationships: whereas they cause opportunistic infections based on immunological deterioration, they also augment HIV replication, in particular, viral replication from latently infected cells, which is attributable to the effect of butyric acid produced by certain anaerobic bacteria by modifying the state of chromatin. Here, we review recent evidence supporting the contributory role of such endogenous microbes in disrupting HIV latency and its potential link to the clinical progression of AIDS.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00766-12
PMCID: PMC3675960  PMID: 23616411
2.  MicroRNAs in HIV-1 infection: an integration of viral and cellular interaction at the genomic level 
The microRNA pathways govern complex interactions of the host and virus at the transcripts level that regulate cellular responses, viral replication and viral pathogenesis. As a group of single-stranded short non-coding ribonucleotides (ncRNAs), the microRNAs complement their messenger RNA (mRNA) targets to effect post-transcriptional or translational gene silencing. Previous studies showed the ability of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) to encode microRNAs which modify cellular defence mechanisms thus creating an environment favorable for viral invasion and replication. In corollary, cellular microRNAs were linked to the alteration of HIV-1 infection at different stages of replication and latency. As evidences further establish the regulatory involvement of both cellular and viral microRNA in HIV-1-host interactions, there is a necessity to organize this information. This paper would present current and emerging knowledge on these multi-dimensional interactions that may facilitate the design of microRNAs as effective antiretroviral reagents.
doi:10.3389/fmicb.2012.00306
PMCID: PMC3426883  PMID: 22936931
microRNA; HIV-1 mechanisms; transcription factors; targets
3.  Leptospirosis in the Asia Pacific region 
Background
Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonotic infection that has been recognized for decades, but the problem of the disease has not been fully addressed, particularly in resource-poor, developing countries, where the major burden of the disease occurs. This paper presents an overview of the current situation of leptospirosis in the region. It describes the current trends in the epidemiology of leptospirosis, the existing surveillance systems, and presents the existing prevention and control programs in the Asia Pacific region.
Methods
Data on leptospirosis in each member country were sought from official national organizations, international public health organizations, online articles and the scientific literature. Papers were reviewed and relevant data were extracted.
Results
Leptospirosis is highly prevalent in the Asia Pacific region. Infections in developed countries arise mainly from occupational exposure, travel to endemic areas, recreational activities, or importation of domestic and wild animals, whereas outbreaks in developing countries are most frequently related to normal daily activities, over-crowding, poor sanitation and climatic conditions.
Conclusion
In the Asia Pacific region, predominantly in developing countries, leptospirosis is largely a water-borne disease. Unless interventions to minimize exposure are aggressively implemented, the current global climate change will further aggravate the extent of the disease problem. Although trends indicate successful control of leptospirosis in some areas, there is no clear evidence that the disease has decreased in the last decade. The efficiency of surveillance systems and data collection varies significantly among the countries and areas within the region, leading to incomplete information in some instances. Thus, an accurate reflection of the true burden of the disease remains unknown.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-147
PMCID: PMC2749047  PMID: 19732423
4.  A Single-Nucleotide Synonymous Mutation in the gag Gene Controlling Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Virion Production▿  
Journal of Virology  2006;81(3):1528-1533.
Viral factors as well as host ones play major roles in the disease progression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. We have examined cytotoxic T-lymphocyte activity and HIV-1 DNA PCR results of 312 high-risk seronegative drug users in northern Thailand and identified four seronegative cases positive for both assays. Furthermore, we have identified a synonymous mutation in nucleotide position 75 of the gag p17 gene (A426G) of HIV-1 that belongs to the CRF01_AE virus circulating in Thailand. The replication-competent HIV-1 clone containing the A426G mutation demonstrated a dramatic reduction of virion production and perturbation of viral morphogenesis without affecting viral protein synthesis in cells.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01596-06
PMCID: PMC1797536  PMID: 17121798
5.  Inhibition of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Replication in Latently Infected Cells by a Novel IκB Kinase Inhibitor 
In human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) latently infected cells, NF-κB plays a major role in the transcriptional induction of HIV-1 replication. Hence, downregulation of NF-κB activation has long been sought for effective anti-HIV therapy. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) stimulates IκB kinase (IKK) complex, a critical regulator in the NF-κB signaling pathway. A novel IKK inhibitor, ACHP {2-amino-6-[2-(cyclopropylmethoxy)-6-hydroxyphenyl]-4-piperidin-4-yl-nicotinonitrile}, was developed and evaluated as a potent and specific inhibitor for IKK-α and IKK-β. In this study, we examined the ability of this compound to inhibit HIV-1 replication in OM10.1 cells latently infected with HIV. When these cells were pretreated with ACHP, TNF-α-induced HIV-1 replication was dramatically inhibited, as measured by the HIV p24 antigen levels in the culture supernatants. Its 50% effective concentration was approximately 0.56 μM, whereas its 50% cytotoxic concentration was about 15 μM. Western blot analysis revealed inhibition of IκBα phosphorylation, IκBα degradation, p65 nuclear translocation, and p65 phosphorylation. ACHP was also found to suppress HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR)-driven gene expression through the inhibition of NF-κB activation. Furthermore, ACHP inhibited TNF-α-induced NF-κB (p65) recruitment to the HIV-1 LTR, as assessed by chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. These findings suggest that ACHP acts as a potent suppressor of TNF-α-induced HIV replication in latently infected cells and that this inhibition is mediated through suppression of IKK activity.
doi:10.1128/AAC.50.2.547-555.2006
PMCID: PMC1366890  PMID: 16436709

Results 1-5 (5)