Re: Reply to Bennett: Why 'HIV' is a misinterpreted 'HERV' 31 March 2005
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Nicholas Bennett,
Infectious Disease Postdoc/Clinician
Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Syracuse NY

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Re: Re: Reply to Bennett: Why 'HIV' is a misinterpreted 'HERV'

Mr Russell has missed the point.

I shall re-phrase: can he supply the Genbank Accession number and reference the sequence(s) of the HERV(s) which he is proposing activates to create the HIV genome deposited under accession 1906382? If such sequences are not intact (i.e. exist as scattered fragments) can he propose a mechanism by which they would be expressed and recombine to form the full-length sequence? If not, then I politely suggest he has no evidence whatsoever to support his view that HIV is a HERV!

I have pointed out previously that animal retroviruses are sexually transmitted, and in a preferentially male to female pattern [1]. I have also shown that barrier contraception can prevent HIV transmission, which suggests it's an endogenous sexually transmitted retrovirus [2].

Nick Bennett njb35@cantab.net

1. Portis et al J Virol. 1987 Apr;61(4):1037-44. "Horizontal transmission of murine retroviruses."

2. de Vincenzi N Engl J Med. 1994 Aug 11;331(6):341-6. "A longitudinal study of human immunodeficiency virus transmission by heterosexual partners. European Study Group on Heterosexual Transmission of HIV."

Competing interests: None declared