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AIDS Weekly Plus
Researchers from University of Pretoria Report Recent Findings in HIV/AIDS and Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
Staff Writer
July 22, 2013

2013 JUL 22 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at AIDS Weekly -- Investigators publish new report on Opportunistic Infections. According to news reporting originating from Pretoria, South Africa, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "Introduction and objectives. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), caused by the John Cunningham (JC) virus, results from lytic infection of predominantly oligodendrocytes."

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from the University of Pretoria, "Following the HIV pandemic, the incidence of PML has risen sharply, but has rarely been reported in Africa. An increasing number of PML cases were seen recently in a tertiary South African hospital, and this study describes their clinical and radiological features. Patients with positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) JC virus confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were retrospectively identified from January 2008 to June 2012. Adults seen at Neurology with PML were identified, and clinical features, laboratory findings and imaging studies were analysed. Of 121 specimens, 19 were positive; records of 17 patients were available (ages 27 -64; CD4 counts 11 -328 x106/l); clinical manifestations included focal weakness (47%), impaired co-ordination (41%), and speech disturbances (12%), and CSF analysis showed high protein in 76%, and pleocytosis in 35%. Fifteen patients had CT brain scans, showing white matter involvement in 12; MRI studies in 13 patients showed typical PML lesions."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "This report is the first case series of patients with PML from a South African neurology unit, emphasising the fact that PML occurs commonly in South African patients with HIV infection."

For more information on this research see: AIDS-related progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML): A retrospective study from Pretoria, South Africa. South African Medical Journal Suid-afrikaanse Tydskrif Vir Geneeskunde, 2013;103(6):399-401. South African Medical Journal Suid-afrikaanse Tydskrif Vir Geneeskunde can be contacted at: Med Assoc S Africa, Med House Central Sq 7430 Pinelands Priv Bag X1, Johannesburg, South Africa (see also Opportunistic Infections).

The news editors report that additional information may be obtained by contacting C.M. Schutte, Dept. of Neurology, Steve Biko Academic Hospital and University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.

Publisher contact information for the South African Medical Journal Suid-afrikaanse Tydskrif Vir Geneeskunde is: Med Assoc S Africa, Med House Central Sq 7430 Pinelands Priv Bag X1, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Keywords for this news article include: Pretoria, Neurology, South Africa, Opportunistic Infections, Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy.

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