Frequent detection and isolation of cytopathic retroviruses (HTLV-III) from patients with AIDS and at risk for AIDS

Robert C. Gallo, Syed Z. Salahuddin, Mikulas Popovic, Gene M. Shearer, Mark Kaplan, Barton F. Haynes, Thomas J. Palker, Robert Redfield, James Oleske, Bijan Safai, Gilbert White, Paul Foster, Phillip D. Markham

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Abstract

Peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or with signs or symptoms that frequently precede AIDS (pre-AIDS) were grown in vitro with added T-cell growth factor and assayed for the expression and release of human T-lymphotropic retroviruses (HTLV). Retroviruses belonging to the HTLV family and collectively designated HTLV-III were isolated from a total of 48 subjects including 18 of 21 patients with pre-AIDS, three of four clinically normal mothers of juveniles with AIDS, 26 of 72 adult and juvenile patients with AIDS, and from one of 22 normal male homosexual subjects. No HTLV-III was detected in or isolated from 115 normal heterosexual subjects. The number ofHTLV-III isolates reported here underestimates the true prevalence of the virus since many specimens were received in unsatisfactory condition. Other data show that serum samples from a high proportion of AIDS patients contain antibodies to HTLV-III. That these new isolates are members of the HTLV family but differ from the previous isolates known as HTLV-I and HTLV-II is indicated by their morphological, biological, and immunological characteristics. These results and those reported elsewhere in this issue suggest that HTLV-III may be the primary cause of AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-503
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume224
Issue number4648
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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