Those reports ignited the fear that an unidentified virus might cause the new malady, which was characterized by a depletion of CD4-positive T-lymphocytes
, the infection-fighting white cells that are also targets of HIV.
Most scientists now agree that a laboratory count of certain white blood cells called CD4-positive T-lymphocytes
(T4 cells for short) can serve as an important measure of an AIDS drug's efficacy.
In a pilot study of 56 patients, DDI showed promise of shorting up immune function by blocking replication of the AIDS virus, thereby boosting patients' CD4-positive T-lymphocytes
-- the infection-fighting white blood cells destroyed by the virus (SN: 7/29/89, p.