HIV-1 Adaptation to host/various musings
Ian A. York
york at mbcrr.dfci.harvard.edu
Fri Oct 20 08:28:14 EST 1995
In article <4682iq$cv9 at ipgate.le.ac.uk>, A.J.Cann <nna at le.ac.uk> wrote:
>Have to comment on this. The key phrases here are "adapt to their hosts" &
>"mortality rate of well over 99.99999%" (do you mean 100% - not true;
>99.9% would be more accurate). Snag is that humans are not the natural
I mean neither 99.9% nor 100%. Last time I checked on this, I think I
found 5 examples of people surviving rabies following onset of clinical
signs. Since I also found (last easy-to-find number was 1985) that at
least 20,000 people per year die of rabies, I think my 99.99999% is
pretty accurate - certainly more accurate than 99.9%. Moreover, I think
I recall seeing in ProMed that the 5th known survivor is now suspected to
have been infected by a related lyssavirus, rather than rabies itself.
Do you have a reference for your 99.9%?
>host of rabies virus - they are dead end hosts who do not play a
>significant part in the transmission of the virus over "thousands of
>years". Hence each human infection is essentially a new event & the virus
>does not have chance to "adapt to it's host" in evolutionary terms.
Can you name *any* species which survivies rabies infection? The
prevalent belief that bats can have persistent infection (again this is
as of the last time I checked) seems to be wrong; they simply don't die
quite as fast as other species.
Ian York (york at mbcrr.harvard.edu)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St., Boston MA 02115
Phone (617)-632-3921 Fax (617)-632-2627
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