Baboon to Human Marrow Transplant - RFI

Bill Graney pp000524 at
Thu Dec 28 11:27:31 EST 1995

marnix at (Marnix L. Bosch) wrote:
>In article <30D88AE8.C1C at>, "richard d. eng"
><richarde at> wrote:
>> Can baboon cells survive in human body? For how long?
>Yes, cells from other species can survive, especially if the immune system
>of the recipient is first paralysed by specific immunosuppressive
>treatment. How long the bone marrow stem cells will survive is hard to
>predict, but potentially a state of 'permanent chimerism' could be induced
>where part of the patients immune system is made up by baboon cells.
>> Can other retroviral agents be present in baboon stem cells jump 
>> species?
>Absolutely, and not just retroviruses. Herpesviruses, parvoviruses and
>morbilliviruses come to mind. There is no limit here. These agents are now
>offered an opportunity where they can replicate unchecked (in the baboon
>cells) in the absence of a functioning immune response (the human immune
>system is suppressed and the baboon immune system is not yet established,
>if it ever will). Any mutation that gives these agents the possibility to
>replicate in human cells will immediately be selected for and a 'species
>jump' has been established.
>> Can these boboon retroviral agents, if present, recombine with HIV to 
>> form a more dangerous virus?
>Potentially yes, but it would depend on these viruses coinfecting the same
>target cells with sufficiently high frequency for this to happen. 
>My personal feeling is that this experiment creates a precedent to
>establish a scenario where we introduce known and unknown, potentially
>very dangerous, viruses into the human population. If we didn't have an
>HIV in humans yet, this would be the way to go about 'creating' one.
>Marnix L. Bosch

Bill Graney replies:


This reasoned, articulate response is a model for responses in this and 
other newsgroups.  Let us seek to emulate it and encourage all to do so.


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