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  • Return to: Scandals: On "mad cows" and sick monkeys: From the people who brought you SV40 in vaccines....


    Scandals: The Thimerosal/SV40 Connection  - Public Health's Ongoing Scandal
    Scandals: The Institute of Medicine Review Of SV40 Contamination of Polio Vaccine and Cancer

    Biologicals. 2003 Dec;31(4):303-6. Related Articles, Links
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    Detection of infectious Bovine polyomavirus.

    Nairn C, Lovatt A, Galbraith DN.

    Q-One Biotech Limited, Todd Campus, West of Scotland Science Park, Glasgow, G20 0XA, UK.

    Bovine polyomavirus (BPyV) is a member of the Polyomaviridae, a virus that was originally thought to be of simian origin but was later shown to be of bovine origin, the primate cultures having been contaminated through the use of foetal bovine serum. The significance of this agent to the biotechnology industry cannot be underestimated. The presence of BPyV in serum batches poses a serious risk for the contamination of human therapeutic products. The current PCR based assays provide a means of detecting virus sequences but give no indication as to the infectious nature of the virus. The communication reports the successful development of an assay to detect infectious BPyV using an in vitro amplification system followed by PCR. A lengthy culture period on bovine cells was required before replicating BPyV could be detected and distinguished from non-replicating virus in the cell culture supernatant. A mock-test assay using foetal bovine serum positive for BPyV showed that there was no evidence of replicating BPyV in the serum sample. The BPyV spiked serum control showed that replicating virus was present thus confirming that the serum itself did not inhibit replication of the virus. Cells harvested during the culture period were subjected to fixation, embedding and sectioning and examined by electron microscopy. Intact virus-like particles of approximately 40-50nm were observed in the nucleus of the bovine kidney cells, the site of polyomavirus replication.

    PMID: 14624801 [PubMed - in process]

    J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2003 Apr 1;32(4):362-9. Related Articles, Links

    Erratum in:
    • J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2003 Sep 1;34(1):118.

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    Simian immunodeficiency viruses from multiple lineages infect human macrophages: implications for cross-species transmission.

    Grimm TA, Beer BE, Hirsch VM, Clouse KA.

    Laboratory of Cell Biology, Division of Monoclonal Antibodies, Office of Theraputics Research and Review, Center for Bioligics Evaluations and Review, US Food and Drugs Administration, National Institutes of Health , Rockville, Maryland 20852, USA.

    Zoonotic transfer of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) from chimpanzees and sooty mangabeys to humans has been documented on at least seven occasions. Several recently identified SIV isolates have also been shown to replicate efficiently in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in vitro, indicative of the potential for additional cross-species transmission via T cell infection. Although SIV predominantly uses the macrophage-tropic HIV chemokine coreceptor CCR5, little is known about the ability of SIV to infect human macrophages. In this study, 16 SIV isolates belonging to five different primate lentivirus lineages were tested for their ability to infect human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs). Twelve of the viruses were capable of infecting MDMs, and 11 of these were also able to replicate in human PBMCs. The replication capacity of the isolates differed within and between the various families and was dependent on particular donor macrophages. Our results suggest that most simian lentiviruses characterized to date not only have the ability to infect primary human T lymphocytes but also replicate efficiently in macrophages, thereby increasing the potential for cross-species transmission into the human population. Comparative studies using these isolates may facilitate the identification of characteristics that contribute to virus infectivity and pathogenicity.

    PMID: 12640192 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    Lancet. 2002 Aug 3;360(9330):387-8. Related Articles, Links
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    Cross-species retroviral transmission from macaques to human beings.

    Brooks JI, Rud EW, Pilon RG, Smith JM, Switzer WM, Sandstrom PA.

    Bureau of HIV/AIDS, STD, and TB, Centre for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0L2, Canada.

    Cross-species transmission of simian foamy virus (SFV) to human beings from chimpanzees, baboons, and African green monkeys has been described. Although macaques are the non-human primate most often handled in research, human infection with SFV from macaques has not been reported. Two of 46 primate-facility workers tested positive for antibodies that reacted with an immunoblot that contained macaque foamy virus antigens. Phylogenetic assessment of a 96-bp fragment of amplified proviral DNA isolated from peripheral-blood mononuclear cells from one infected individual was consistent with SFV infection of macaque origin. Frequent use of macaques in biomedical research, and identification of persistent retroviral infection from macaques to human beings, could have implications for public-health policy and occupational health and safety.

    PMID: 12241782 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    AIDS. 1989 Nov;3(11):755-8. Related Articles, Links

    Induction of immune deficiency syndrome in rabbits by bovine leukaemia virus.

    Altanerova V, Ban J, Altaner C.

    Department of Molecular Virology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia.

    Newborn rabbits were inoculated with bovine leukaemia virus (BLV). The majority of infected rabbits produced antiviral antibodies. All the seroconverted animals developed symptoms resembling AIDS and died several months after inoculation. The course of experimental infection of rabbits with BLV resembled in many respects the broad spectrum of clinical disorders associated with AIDS induced by HIV. Antibody response to virus proteins was followed by immune deficiency and signs of neuropathy, and the animals subsequently died of opportunistic infections. Virus transmission from infected babies to the mothers by contact was also observed. In some cases the virus was salvaged from lymphocytes of rabbits with the immune deficiency syndrome. The virus-specific sequences were found to be integrated at random in the DNA of haematopoietic cells and of some organs. Slight expression of viral RNAs in lymphocytes was found. Experimental infection of rabbits with BLV can be used in experiments to understand AIDS induction.

    PMID: 2559751 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    J Gen Virol. 1978 Feb;38(2):375-81. Related Articles, Links

    Infection of human cell cultures with bovine visna virus.

    Georgiades JA, Billiau A, Vanderschueren B.

    Fibroblastoid cell cultures derived from leukaemic bone marrow were successfully infected with BVV. After 2 months of subcultivation the cultures showed the appearance of foci of altered cells, suggestive of malignant transformation. Such foci were absent in non-inoculated cultures. Both control and inoculated cultures had a limited life span, i.e. neither of them could be developed into continuous transformed cell lines. The presence of at least some BVV genome functions in the inoculated cells was demonstrated (i) by immunofluorescence using a reference BVV serum, (ii) by detection in the supernatant culture fluid of sedimentable particles bearing RNA-dependent DNA polymerase activity with preference for Mg2+ ions, and (iii) by electron microscopic detection of scarce cell-associated virus particles in one of the infected cultures. Infectious BVV could not be rescued. In contrast to leukaemic bone marrow cultures, diploid human embryonic fibroblasts of various origin could not be infected with BVV.

    PMID: 75246 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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