A unique retrovirus?

James Scutero jscutero at panix.com
Sat Jun 17 13:11:50 EST 1995

In article <3rui7b$32e at miasun.med.miami.edu> 
tmiller at newssun.med.miami.edu (Todd Miller - Pharmacology) writes:
>Val Turner asked some questions in a recent letter:
>Q1. Did Montagnier in 1983 or Gallo in 1984 publish data proving the 
>existence in AIDS patients of a unique retrovirus?
>Yes or No. If Yes what was the evidence. If No then what are we all
>doing here?!

Since your only giving the choice of a yes or no answer, I'll say yes.

>Gallo said in 1983 that he had discovered HTLV-I sequences in the
>HUT78 cell line.  The H9 cell line is a clone of HUT78.
>(Nature Vol 302 1983 Page 627).
>What we want, as you so rightly put, is evidence that there
>is a unique particle, that this is a virus (infectivity) and
>that from this particle one can extract RNA and proteins that
>are corresonding (that is, the RNA codes exactly for the
>proteins), and that when one puts this particle in PURE form
>into a cell one gets out the SAME particle with the SAME 
>constituents. Now try and find that evidence.
Found it!

>(end of excerpt)
>I'm also wondering about all the variation in reported HIV 
>sequence.  Gallo (Science 225: 927, 1984) showed that HTLV-I
>was homologous under fairly stringent conditions (30% formamide, 
>37^o C) to HTLV-III.  Then I read about an isolate from Cameroon
>that was 50% divergent.  Would this isolate of "HIV" even have
>been homologous enough to hybridize the HTLV-III probe?
HHV-6 shares an homology with CMV but they are two different viruses.
Viruses in the same subfamily share genetic characteristics, that is
one of the criteria for why they are grouped together in the first place. 

>Where does one draw the line between strains?  Given that there
>are apparently differences in the pathologies caused by HTLV-I
>(leukemia) and HTLV-III (AIDS), is it consistent to think that
>such divergent sequences between "strains" could cause similar

Yes, of course, different strain different pathology. What is your
>Thanks in advance for responses to this smorgasbord.
>Todd Miller
It's more like a refuse heap than a smorgasbord. Tell Val Turner to keep
his day job.
-James M. Scutero, original proponent of misc.health.aids
 misc.health.aids WWW homepage: http://www.panix.com/~jscutero

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