Where is the evidence for the existence of the "HIV" genome 20 August 2004
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Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos,
Biophysicist
Department of Medical Physics, Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia, 6001,
Valendar F Turner, John Papadimitriou, Barry Page, David Causer, Helman Alfonso, Sam Mhlongo, Todd Miller, Christian Fiala

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Re: Where is the evidence for the existence of the "HIV" genome

Where is the evidence for the existence of the "HIV" genome in AIDS patients?

In his rapid response "Re: The cell lines HUT102 and HUT78", Christopher Noble wrote: "The Perth Group have previously claimed that control cultures in HIV research are not stimulated.

The Perth Group then cited a paper Science. 1986 Feb 21;231(4740):850-3, which includes several control cultures (not infected with HIV) that are stimulated.

I then said "An honourable person would admit that they have been in error"

The Perth Group have chosen not to admit to any errors despite the evidence that contradicts their claims. They have chosen to deny the evidence.

Let us look at the evidence again.

Table 2

T-cells from normal donors were cultures with and without PHA stimulation. No RT activity (<1 x 10Ů3 cpm/ml) was seen in the uninfected control cultures with or without PHA stimulation. However when the culture was infected in-vitro with HIV and then stimulated with PHA a measurable RT activity of 46 x 10Ů3 cpm/ml was recorded."

Our analysis of the evidence in Table 2 can be found in our rapid response: "Still no proper controls in HIV research", 17th August, where we wrote: "A mention of RT activity in stimulated (PHA) uninfected cells is made in table 2. "Activated and nonactivated cultures of T cells (20 days old) derived from the same normal donor were assayed for IL-2 production and RT activity. After activation by PHA for 24 hours, the T cells from the donor were treated with polybrene (2 mg/ml), incubated in the presence of HTLV-III-containing culture supernatant fluid obtained from the H9/HTLV-III-B2 cell line for 1 hour at 37C°, and cultured in RPMI 1640 and FCS containing exogenous IL-2, antibody to a-interferon, and hydrocortisone."

Obviously there were many significant differences between the "control" and the "infected" cultures irrespective of "HIV". No scientist worthy of his salt would accept this as being a proper control. In addition the RT activity in the "control" was determined at day 20 after stimulation. However, as stated in the same paper, maximum RT activity is detected in stimulated cultures which are less than 20 days old."

In his extensive work in the 1970s Gallo repeatedly stressed that reverse transcriptase activity can be found in leukaemic cells and even in PHA stimulated normal cells. At the same time this fact was also accepted by Barre-Sinoussi and Charmann. In 1984 they, in collaboration with Montagnier, have shown reverse transcriptase activity in normal cells [1].

Would Christopher Noble please tell us, why should only the "control" cells in "HIV" research be an exception?

Christopher Noble wrote: "Table 3. T-cell cultures showed increased cell death after infection with HIV. Could the Perth Group please explain these results without simply denying their existence."

We are more than just amazed at Christopher Noble's interpretation of the data in Table 3. Nobody, much less a scientist, can interpret the evidence in Table 3 as showing "cell death after infection with "HIV". In fact an expert in the field like Christopher Noble, should know that the evidence in Table 3 does not prove cell death by "HIV" or any other agent.

The evidence presented in Table 3 is analysed in our rapid response "Is "HIV" sufficient or necessary for T4 cell decrease (AID)?", 17th August.

Christopher Noble wrote: "The Perth Group also write: HUT-78 was established from a patient with mature T4-cell leukaemia, a disease which Gallo claims is caused by HTLV-1

For the last time, the group that produced the cell line diagnosed the patient with Sezary Syndrome not ATL. Please read the reference I gave you. Bunn PA Jr, Foss FM, J Cell Biochem Suppl. 1996;24:12-23. Please also read one of the references you have previously cited The Untold story of HUT78. If you are still in doubt purchase the cell line. Call lines available from the NIBSC"

In 1980 Gazdar et al wrote: "The majority of human lymphoid malignancies are of B-lymphocyte origin. Well characterised T-lymphocyte malignancies include some cases of acute and chronic lymphocytic leukeamias, lymphoblastic lymphomas, and the cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL). The latter disorders include mycosis fungoides (MF), Sezary syndrome (SS), and the related cutaneous disease lymphatoid papulosis."

In 1981 Gallo et al wrote: "a novel type C retrovirus (called HTLVCR) has been isolated in our laboratory from T cells (fresh and in culture) from a lymph node biopsy of a patient (C.R.) with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (mycosis fungoides) and a very similar virus (HTLVMB) from the peripheral blood T cells of another patient (M.B.) with cutaneous T-cell leukaemia (Sezary syndrome, see accompanying report)."

One year later Gallo wrote: "The demonstration of a specific immune response to a type-C retrovirus in man was first shown in papers published from our laboratory with serum antibodies specifically reactive with HTLV proteins in some U.S. cases of adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma." (ATL)

In his 1986 Scientific American article entitled "The first human retrovirus", Gallo wrote: "The patients from whom we first isolated HTLV-I had malignancies of mature T4 cells accompanied by skin abnormalities, which result from infiltration of the skin by malignant blood cells. Such a clinical picture has been called mycosis fungoides of Sezary T-cell leukaemia."

Thus, according to the HTLV experts, Sezary Syndrome is an adult T4-cell leukaemia disease. If, as Gallo claims, ATL is caused by HTLV, then so is Sezary Syndrome.

Christopher Noble wrote: "The Perth Group then seize the opportunity to "publish" a letter that has been rejected by Nature and Science. I wonder if the Perth Group ever consider for a moment that these journals rejected this letter for very good reasons it is full of errors and misrepresentations. Some of these have already been refuted in this "debate".

For instance: The human genome contains DNA sequences, sometimes hundreds to thousands, of many retroviral families including HIV sequences.

The references that the Perth Group give show only very small stretches of human DNA that have similarity to HIV sequences for instance Horwitz et al show only two small regions where there is significant similarity….This is hardly finding HIV in the human genome.

Gallo's failure to detect the HIV genome in the T cells of AIDS patients. This is associated with the quote In 1994 Gallo stated "We have never found HIV DNA in the tumour cells of KS. In fact we have never found HIV DNA in T-cells". Dishonestly the Perth Group leave out the last part of this quote ", although we've only looked at a few". In fact, Gallo did find HIV DNA in T-cells. This is reported in another of the papers that the Perth Group has already cited".

Would Christopher Noble please give us one reference, and a few confirmatory studies, by Gallo, Montagnier or any other "HIV" expert with evidence for the existence of the whole "HIV" genome and not just "HIV" sequences in fresh, uncultured lymphocytes of AIDS patients.

REFERENCE

1. Rey MA, Spire B, Dormont D, Barre-Sinoussi F, Montagnier L, Chermann JC. Characterization of the RNA dependent DNA polymerase of a new human T-lymphotropic retrovirus (lymphadenopathy associated virus). Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1984;121(1):126-33.

Competing interests: None declared