Superinfection question

William M Fields,NB234 LRC ,551-3059,8 wfields at dekalb.dc.peachnet.edu
Sun Nov 13 17:51:51 EST 1994


In a previous article, mdcabl at cc.newcastle.edu.au () says:

>Hi all,
>Just wondering.  What happens when two different species of virus
>attempt to infect the same cell? Is there still a block on superinfection? I
>especially wonder if perhaps a cytoplasmic virus can replicate in the same cell
>if it already has an retro virus infection like AIDS.  I have been told that
>non-HIV viral infection in AIDS pateints is a problem.  Are the two viruses
>competing for the same cells or just finding different parts of the host to
>replicate in?  Finally has anyone researched how viruses which co-exist in the
>same host compete against each other, if at all?  I couldn't find anything on
>medline on this.  Any theories or speculations are welcome.
>Cheers,
>Allen Black
>Dept. of Pathology
>Univ. of Newcastle
>

Allen,

It seems to me that you are evoking a concept of the balance of nature. 
Therefore, if smallpox were shown to be a dynamic agent in controlling 
the spread of HIV, one might well think of smallpox as an endangered 
species.  Perhaps, I have forced the argument into a political framework; 
however, I am not a scientist.  As one of the many observers of nature,  
I cannot help but think this way.  [Is the reintroduction of wolves into 
Yellowstone an enhancement to nature?]  What would the viruses, and 
particularly the retroviruses, do in a model of the world where there 
were no animal vectors.  Would HIV go extinct?  The biological dynamics 
that you suggest are very interesting.

WMF 



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