Grouse shooting & HIV

Donald Forsdyke forsdyke at
Fri Oct 23 16:58:51 EST 1998

A proposed treatment of AIDS, taking into account the phenomenon of 

viral latency, is now receiving serious attention. To understand the 

approach, a grouse shooting analogy may help. 

     The grouse shooting season is now upon us, and the woods and copses

echo not only gun-fire, but the pad and thwak of the beaters. To rid

land of grouse requires a two-fold approach (i) beaters to get the birds

to fly up, and (ii) guns and good shooters. The shooters alone will

just be able to shoot the occasional grouse which is so stupid as to

expose itself. The beaters alone will just cause the grouse to spread to

other sites. The combination is lethal.

    In the AIDS context, the guns are drugs such as AZT and (recently)

the complex of drugs known as HAART. These hit AIDS viruses "on the

wing", but are useless against latent virus which hides usually in DNA

form seamlessly integrated into the DNA of its host cell. We need drugs

to simulate the beaters. In 1991 it was suggested that cytokines such as

TNF-alpha might fill this role. Recently some major laboratories have

taken this up. For further details see:

Sincerely, Donald Forsdyke. Discussion Leader. Bionet.immunology

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