Latest Issue of Science News


Hepatitis B drug creates HIV resistance

In people infected with both the hepatitis B virus and the AIDS virus HIV, a widely used treatment for hepatitis also causes HIV to develop drug resistance, scientists report.

Chloe Thio of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and her colleagues studied HIV infection in three patients who were taking the drug entecavir to treat hepatitis B, a virus that attacks the liver. The scientists found that entecavir reduced the amount of HIV in all three patients' bloodstreams.

Entecavir combats hepatitis B by inhibiting an enzyme called DNA polymerase, which plays a central role in viral replication. Thio and her team found that the drug also stymies a similar enzyme, RNA reverse transcriptase, that HIV uses to copy itself.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.