Has HIV really been isolated?

Todd Miller todd33 at ix.netcom.com
Mon Oct 28 18:51:06 EST 1996


This summary of their larger article, "The Isolation of HIV:
Has it Been Achieved?  The Case Against", currently published
in the Sept/Oct, 1996 issue of _Continuum_, is posted with the
authors' consent.  I will post the larger article in 3 parts
(about 85K each); it is also available at

http://www.xs4all.nl/~raido/frontnews.htm

I would think this article deserves a serious response from
the HIV establishment.  Duesberg's book, "Inventing the AIDS
Virus" (Regnery, 1996) argues that HIV is a harmless retrovirus.
The Australians argue that the phenomena (PCR and antibody)
associated with "HIV" are artifacts of either endogenous retroviral
activity, or as I posted recently, of the body's antibody response
to other microorganisms, notably yeast, fungi, and mycobacteria.
Their theory is that oxidative stress, coming from various sources
common to the known risk groups for AIDS, can result in many of
the phenomena (AB+ and PCR+).

Todd Miller, PhD

**************************************************************
           THE ISOLATION OF HIV--HAS IT BEEN ACHIEVED?

Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos1  Valendar F.Turner2  John M.
Papadimitriou3  David Causer1

1Department of Medical Physics, 2Department of Emergency Medicine,
Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia; 3Department of
Pathology, University of Western Australia.

Voice int + 61 9 2243221 Fax int + 61 9 2243511


AUTHORS' NOTE FOR INTERNET USERS:

In the middle of 1995 Continuum Magazine (Editor, Huw Christie, 172
Foundling Court, Brunswick Centre, London WC1N 1QE United Kingdom,
Voice int + 44 171 713 7071, Fax 7072) offered a prize of one
thousand pounds sterling to anyone providing scientific proof for
HIV isolation. Following this challenge a series of articles were
published and below is presented the case against (Continuum,
September/October 1996 Supplement pages 1-24). The BARE ESSENTIALS
of the Eleopulos and colleagues paper are:

1. No researcher has yet presented evidence for the isolation of
any particle, retroviral-like or otherwise, proven to be a
retrovirus by virtue of demonstrating its ability to produce exact
copies of itself when placed in an "uninfected" cell culture.
Although the method for retroviral isolation was thoroughly
discussed at and published by the Pasteur Institute in 1973 no HIV
researcher has yet presented evidence for HIV isolation by this
method.

2. It is invalid to speak of HIV particles, HIV proteins, HIV RNA
or HIV DNA (cDNA) or even entertain the notion of HIV antigens or
molecular or viral cloning without such proof.

3. The detection in culture fluids of reverse transcription of the
primer-template A(n).dT15 is not specific proof for the presence of
a retrovirus.

4. The "HIV proteins" are defined as the subset of proteins
(approximately 20%) of the proteins present in cultures/co-cultures
of tissues from AIDS patients which react with some antibodies
present in some AIDS patient sera. However, it is not possible to
declare any protein a component of a unique, exogenously acquired
retrovirus by means of an antigen/antibody reaction.

5. There is no proof that any of the "HIV proteins" are coded by
the "HIV genome". And, for example, in a computer-assisted analysis
of the amino acid sequences of the envelope protein complexes
derived from the nucleotide sequences of seven AIDS virus isolates,
it was reported that gp41 protein, which should have a molecular
weight of 41,000, had a calculated weight of 52,000 to 54,000.

6. There is disagreement as to which are the "specific" HIV
proteins and thus which proteins are significant in defining HIV
infection on the basis of the HIV Western blot antibody test.
Presently, worldwide there are at least ten major sets of criteria
for defining a positive HIV Western blot and hence HIV infection.
Thus positivity and infection in some institutions or countries is
not positivity or infection in others.

7. The "HIV RNA" and "HIV DNA" are defined on the basis of length
(approximately 10,000 nucleotides) and chemical composition
(adenine rich) of all the RNA present in cultures of tissues of
AIDS patients, NOT on the basis of RNA extracted from a particle
first isolated and then proven to be a retrovirus.=20

8. In 1990 the HIV genome was said to consist of ten genes. This
year Montagnier reported that HIV possesses eight genes and
according to Barr=82-Sinoussi, HIV has nine genes. Neither is there
constancy of the number of nucleotides in the "HIV genome". Also,
to date, only 11 full length "HIV genomes" have been sequenced and
accordingly, HIV genotype consignments are derived from sequence
analysis of subgenomes measuring 2% to 30% of the total. The data
is that such "genomes" vary between 3-40%. (If 30% of the HIV
genome varies as much as 40%, how much does 100% of the HIV genome
vary? In the HIV Western blot, how can an HIV producing one set of
proteins detect antibodies that are produced in response to the set
of all other disparate "HIV genomes"? When does "HIV" become some
other entity?). Thus, not only are there no two HIV genomes of the
same length or nucleotide composition, there is no single genetic
entity "HIV DNA" to describe the myriads of "HIV genomes". It is
also estimated that patients contain between one and one hundred
million distinct HIV DNAs at the one time. Neither is it correct to
encompass such DNAs under the umbrella of a quasispecies of
"closely related genomes".

9. Even if there were proof for the isolation of a unique,
exogenously acquired retrovirus with a unique stretch of RNA
(cDNA), there is no evidence for the cloning of HIV.

10. There are many mechanisms, all well known to retrovirologists
and which have nothing to do with the acquisition of an exogenous
retrovirus, that may explain all the "HIV phenomena", that is, the
generation of particles, proteins and nucleic acids in AIDS
patients or in cultures/co-cultures of tissues from AIDS patients.
For example, the types of cells used to "culture HIV" may exhibit
such phenomena independently of being "infected with HIV".

11. Neither the HIV antibody tests nor the HIV genomic tests have
been appraised by reference to the only scientifically valid gold
standard, HIV isolation. Notwithstanding, in one study, the
concordance between HIV serology and "HIV DNA" varied between 40-
100% and in another study only 74% of patients were positive for
plasma "HIV RNA". In "Seven French laboratories with extensive
experience in PCR detection of HIV DNA", the data revealed that of
138 samples shown to contain "HIV DNA", 34 (25%) did not contain
"HIV antibodies" while of 262 specimens that did not contain "HIV
DNA", 17 (6%) did contain "HIV antibodies".

12. Regardless of the above, for retrovirologists, proof of the
existence and pathogenicity of a given retrovirus is contingent
upon demonstration of specific antibodies to retroviral proteins.
The significance of this fact is demonstrated by the example of
HL23V, the "first" human retrovirus discovered by Gallo in the mid
1970s, By 1980, the demonstration that antibodies to HL23V were
non-specific led to its precipitous demise, so much so that Gallo
now never mentions his "first" virus and regards HTLV-I as the
"first" human retrovirus. In addition to the evidence presented in
the Eleopulos et al 1993 Bio/Technology paper, further data is
presented that the 88% of AIDS patients infected with one or more
fungal (including Pneumocystis carinni) or mycobacterial species
contain antibodies to such organisms which may cross react with
"HIV proteins" found in the HIV Western blot. Thus it is impossible
to claim that such diseases are caused by HIV on the basis of an
antibody test or that "HIV seropositivity" in such patients is
caused by HIV.





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