Re: More on the photo 30 June 2004
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Christopher J Noble,

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Re: Re: More on the photo

The Perth Group write:

(i) are not of a unique retrovirus, "HIV" but of the unique retrovirus presently known as HTLV-I; (ii) "HIV" is said to be a lentivirus while HTLV-I is said to belong to the oncovirus subfamily of retroviruses; (iii) the pictures are from MT-1 cell cultures and thus "are filled with things", including cellular fragments and MT-1 cells.

For some reason the Perth Group appear to believe that HTLV-I exists. At least they keep on claiming that the H9 cell line is infected with it. Can they please post the references showing where HTLV-1 has been isolated according to the Perth Group Rules of Retrovirus Isolation. Could they also give references for these Rules of Retrovirus Isolation as they have not done so yet.

Christopher Noble's pictures raise some interesting questions. Being HIV experts, Christopher Noble and Brian Foley undoubtedly are aware that the H9 cell line, like the MT-1 cell line, originated from patients with adult T4 cell leukaemia. This disease is said to be caused by HTLV-I. In fact, as far back as 1983 Gallo showed that the H9 cell line is infected with HTLV-I. The H9 cell line is the cell line most extensively used in HIV research. The questions then are (i) why have Christopher Noble and Brian Foley never mentioned that in the H9 cell line there is a "real soup" of retroviruses and (ii) how do Christopher Noble and Brian Foley distinguish between what is "HIV" and what is HTLV-I in this cell line?

It is hard to be aware that H9 originated from a patient with adult T4 cell leukemia because it in fact originated from a patient with Sezary Syndrome. (1)

Contrary to the Perth Group's claims the Hut78 cell line is HTLV-1 negative, it does not produce HTLV-1 virions or even HTLV-1 antigens. (1-3)

Both Hut78 and Hut102 were provided to Gallo's lab. HTLV-1 was isolated from Hut102 but could not be produced from Hut78.

Despite the claims of the Perth Group neither Gallo nor Montagnier have ever claimed that H9 is infected with HTLV-1. What Gallo says is quite different "Another cell line, HUT 78, of a mature T cell that expresses no HTLV antigens or viral particles contained HTLV proviral sequences". Gallo does not say that Hut78 is infected with HTLV-1. Nobody except the Perth Group and their followers has ever made this claim.

The perth Group write:We agree with Montagnier that when using lymphocyte cultures infected with exogenous retroviruses such as MT2, MT4 and H9 (HUT-78), all of which originated from patients with "adult T4-cell leukemia", said to be caused by HTLV-I, it "is a real soup".(4)

As Montagnier never claimed that the H9 cell line is a "real soup" there is no reason for any of us to mention this "fact".

The repeated habit of interspersing you rhetoric with "Gallo says", "Montagnier says", "Montagnier admitted" in the apparent aim of trying to gain some authority for your claims only makes you look foolish. These people do not agree with your claims.

If the Perth Group can make Hut78 or H9 cell cultures produce HTLV-1 then they are welcome to do so. Until then I would ask them to refrain from exercising their highly creative reading abilities!

1) Bunn PA Jr, Foss FM, J Cell Biochem Suppl. 1996;24:12-23 pubmed

2) Kalyanaraman VS, Sarngadharan MG, Poiesz B, Ruscetti FW, Gallo RC. J Virol. 1981 Jun;38(3):906-15. pubmed

3)Wong-Staal F, Hahn B, Manzari V, Colombini S, Franchini G, Gelmann EP, Gallo RC. Nature. 1983 Apr 14;302 (5909):626-8. pubmed 4) COMMENTARY ON MONTAGNIER source

Competing interests: None declared