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Issue No. 17 | April 20, 2012

News and Features

NIAID Issues New Clinical Trials Units Funding Opportunity Announcement

NIAID has issued a new request for applications (RFA) to establish clinical trials units (CTUs) for its clinical research networks. The new funding announcement is being issued in connection with NIAID's efforts to revamp and expand its HIV/AIDS clinical research networks. The purpose of the RFA is to solicit applications for CTUs for NIAID clinical research networks focused on the following six research areas:

  • Adult HIV therapeutic strategies, including HIV cure, noninfectious comorbidities, and the infectious comorbidities of hepatitis and tuberculosis
  • Strategies to address HIV and HIV-associated infections in pediatric and maternal populations
  • Integrated HIV prevention strategies
  • Microbicide strategies to prevent HIV infections
  • Vaccines to prevent HIV infections
  • Strategies to address antibacterial resistance

Applications will be accepted until January 29, 2013. For more information, visit the Restructuring the NIAID Clinical Trials Networks webpage.

Study Suggests HIV Infection Induces Age-Related Changes to Monocytes and Innate Immune Activation That Persist in Young Men Despite Combination Antiretroviral Therapy

“[The objectives of this study are to] compare the impact of HIV infection and healthy ageing on monocyte phenotype and function and determine whether age-related changes induced by HIV are reversed in antiretroviral treated individuals. …

“A cross sectional study of monocyte ageing markers in viremic and virologically suppressed HIV-positive males aged 45 years or less and age-matched and elderly (≥65 years) HIV-uninfected individuals. …

“Monocytes from young viremic HIV-positive males resemble those from elderly controls, and show increased expression of CD11b (P<0.0001 on CD14 and CD16subsets) and decreased expression of CD62L and CD115 (P=0.04 and 0.001, respectively, on CD14 monocytes) when compared with young uninfected controls. These changes were also present in young virologically suppressed HIV-positive males. Innate immune activation markers neopterin, soluble CD163 and CXCL10 were elevated in both young viremic (P<0.0001 for all) and virologically suppressed (P=0.0005, 0.003 and 0.002, respectively) HIV-positive males with levels in suppressed individuals resembling those observed in elderly controls. Like the elderly, CD14 monocytes from young HIV-positive males exhibited impaired phagocytic function (P=0.007) and telomere-shortening (P=0.03) as compared with young uninfected controls. …

“HIV infection induces changes to monocyte phenotype and function in young HIV-positive males that mimic those observed in elderly uninfected individuals, suggesting HIV may accelerate age-related changes to monocytes. Importantly, these defects persist in virologically suppressed HIV-positive individuals.”

More information is available: