Re: More on the specificity of PCR and its correlation with the antibody test 22 December 2003
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Christopher J Noble,
postdoctoral fellow
Bern Switzerland

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Re: Re: More on the specificity of PCR and its correlation with the antibody test

The Perth Group responds: "In fact it appears that Owens et al were aware that what they called controls were not proper controls. In their recommendations Owens et al wrote: "For example, the non-diseased population should include persons who are at risk for HIV infection and would be candidates for testing rather than healthy controls", which they used in their analysis. "

Once again the Perth Group display their mind reading abilities and see what the authors of the meta-study "really" meant rather than simply reading the meta-study at face value.

After reading the meta-study the Perth Group should be aware that a large proportion of the studies analysed by Owens et al did indeed include non-diseased populations that were at high risk for HIV infection. These included homosexual and heterosexual partners of HIV seropositive patients, polytransfused haemophiliacs and thalassemics, and intravenous drug users. The correlation between antibody and PCR tests remained in these populations.

First the Perth Group denied that there were blind-controlled studies that provided evidence for the correlation of antibody and PCR tests for HIV infection and now they come up with more ad hoc excuses for ignoring data that contradicts their beliefs.

Their "explanations" that they provide for the correlation between these tests (which they deny anyway just to be safe) are pure speculation without any supporting evidence. They do not explain the ability of both antibody and PCR tests to distinguish between HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection. (1)

The Perth Group continue to respond with lies. For instance they write "At least Montagnier in his 1997 interview to Djamel Tahi admitted that he had not isolated HIV and in his view neither had Gallo." In fact, in this interview Montagnier specifically states that he did isolate HIV.

I am still waiting for an honest answer to all of my previous questions.

1) Kannangai R, Ramalingam S, Prakash KJ, Abraham OC, George R, Castillo RC, Schwartz DH, Jesudason MV, Sridharan G. J Clin Virol. 2001 Aug;22(1):41-6. A peptide enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of human immunodeficiency virus type-2 (HIV-2) antibodies: an evaluation on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed samples.

Competing interests: None declared