Iron chelators, as treatment for conditions of iron overload, have implications for AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) since excess iron in the system assists HIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) multiplication. Excess iron, especially due to dietary habits, is almost as common in sub-Saharan Africa as infections by the two organisms. That HIV and M.tb influence each others replication during co-infection is well established, but in vitro evaluations of concurrent infection of the two under conditions of iron overload and determining whether chelators reverse the effect, are limited. This review provides brief commentary on the possibility of iron chelators presently in clinical use influencing simultaneous HIV-M.tb infections during iron loading and the feasibility of evaluating this in vitro.
Keywords: iron chelators, desferrioxamine, host defense, HIV-1 core protein, tuberculosis
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