The immune responses that protect an individual from a certain disease. The precise identities of the correlates of immunity in HIV are unknown.
corticosteroid A steroid synthesized in the adrenal cortex from cholesterol. Some are potent hormones. Corticosteroids are immunosuppressive; synthetic corticosteroids are used as short-term treatments for a host of AIDS-related conditions, such as neuropathy, esophageal ulcers, skin rashes, and thrombocytopenia. They are combined with other drugs to treat AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), acute pneumocystic carinii pneumonia, and tuberculosis and to reduce intracranial pressure caused by toxoplasmosis or cns lymphoma. Corticosteroids include prednisone, corticosterone, cortisone, and aldosterone and are available in preparations for use intravenously, orally, or by direct application to the skin. The effects of corti-costeroids on primary HIV infection have been given little formal study.
Long-term use of corticosteroids has been associated with reactivation of herpes viruses, Pneumo-cystis carinii, tuberculosis, and various fungal infections. Corticosteroid use has also been associated with the development of AIDS-KS, although rarely with the development of KS in other diseases, and it remains unclear if their use increases the risk of developing KS for people with HIV.
Using high doses of corticosteroids for a long time can be dangerous. They reduce the immune system's defenses against certain infections and are sometimes considered especially dangerous for people whose immune defenses are already weakened.
Nevertheless, many of the complications of HIV infection appear to result from an abundant but misdirected immune response; these complications respond well to corticosteroids. In any case it is considered best that these drugs be taken at the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible period.
cortisol A glucocorticoid hormone secreted by the adrenal gland to moderate stress. Among other things, glucocorticoids promote the breakdown of protein stores in the body to produce sugar (glucose) and can decrease immune system activity. Cortisol levels are high in people with HIV infections, and the hormone has been implicated in wasting syndrome. Recent studies have found that blocking cells' glucocorticoid receptors reduces the proliferation of Kaposi's sarcoma tissue, and that blocking these receptors also might inhibit HIV itself.
cortisone A corticosteroid often used to reduce inflammation in the body caused by various illnesses.
Corynebacterium A genus of the family Corynebacteriaceae. The bacteria are rod shaped, gram-positive and non-motile. Though many species of this genus are pathogens in domestic animals, birds, reptiles, and plants, the most important is the species c. diptheriae, the causative agent of diphtheria in humans.
cotton wool spots Areas of yellowish white coloration in the retina, generally seen by doctors and not the patients themselves. When the blood supply to the eye is cut off or slowed, swelling can occur in the retina. The blood supply can be disrupted as a result of various diseases such as diabetes and HIV retinopathy. The swelling causes the outer layer of the retina, made up of nerve cells, to become injured, thus giving rise to these spots. The cotton wool spots do not cause visual problems themselves and often go away on their own if the underlying condition is treated successfully to
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