Re: Re: Re: Clinical trials of antioxidants 16 February 2005
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James J Whitehead,
Researcher Getting Better
40A Josephine Avenue London SW2 2 LA

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Clinical trials of antioxidants

Dear Nicholas Bennett,

I thank you for your support for large scale clinical trials into antioxidants.

In reply to Nicholas Bennett

"One wonders what description of a lesion Mr Whitehead would consider better than this, as evidence supporting HHV8 in causing Kaposi's Sarcoma? He uses the phrase "at best" as if the findings somehow fall short of meeting his expectations, whereas for me as a virologist they far exceed my wildest expectations! For example, we cannot (yet?) induce an AIDS- like illness by adding a single gene from HIV into an animal model. To do this for HHV8 and KS is a holy grail of viral pathogenesis. "

I apologise for any confusion I may of caused but the quote you use "He uses the phrase "at best" "was not from me but The Perth Group.

In Reply Nicholas Bennett

"The report of a possible mouse model of AIDS mentioned by Mr Whitehead is interesting because it highlights the problem I previously mentioned to Alex Russell some time ago, regarding the prolific number of mouse retroviruses: both exogenous and endogenous. The followup papers to that report clearly demonstrate the fact that this was the result of a previously unknown retrovirus infection, which is sexually and horizontally transmissible. Two endogenous retroviruses were activated and the co-infection results in the disease process mentioned (a lymphoproliferative condition and an autoimmune CD4 T cell depletion) [2]. "


"HHV8 is not only epidemiologically associated with KS, but can be detected in all forms of KS, from almost all samples, but not from surrounding tissues. The fact that it contains genes that are demonstrably and theoretically capable of causing cancer is enough for most people. "

So the donnor mice had not one but two exogenous and endogenous retroviruses that did not cause "aids" like diseases or KS like legions in the donnors but only the recipients ?

Was HHV-8 also present in the donnor mice ? Was HHV-8 present in the recipient mice ?

KS does occur in people who are not immunosuppressed with high CD4's, It occurs in people with hiv with CD4's above 700.KS occurs in hiv negative non immunosuppressed people on kidney dialysis with high CD4's.Yet it is very rare in hiv positive hhv-8 positive people from Thailand with aids who I presume are immunosuppressed ?The degree of severity of KS in my view in no way corresponds with CD4. Like the incidence of KS in immunosuppressed liver transplant recipients who HHV-8 positive being lower than the incidence of KS in immunosuppresses Kidney transplant recipients despite having a higher HHV-8 incidence. IE.

"Although Andreoni et al. found that 21.4% of liver recipients, but only 8.6% of kidney recipients, seroconverted for KSHV, the risk of KS was higher in the kidney transplant recipients." .(1).  "

""Iatrogenic Kaposi's sarcoma develops in patients undergoing immunosuppressive treatment and is considered to be induced by activation of latent HHV8. In most cases the first manifestation of Kaposi's sarcoma develops after 1 year from when the drug was first administered. In a recent study from Italy on HHV8 positivity in patients with Kaposi's sarcoma, it was found that 52% of the control group were positive (Masini C., et al. G Ital Dermatol Venereol 1999; 134: 315-320). For this reason we could expect a larger number of cases of iatrogenic Kaposi's sarcoma given the number of patients who undergo immunosuppressive treatment for one reason or another. Thus, we have to look to a contemporaneous presence of other factors that co-operate with the HHV8. We present a case of a 49- year-old woman, HHV8 and HCV positive, who develops a Kaposi's sarcoma after 9 months of steroid therapy (methylprednisolone 16 mg/die). The low dose of steroids prescribed to our patient and the fact that the first skin manifestation developed after a shorter period than average from the start of therapy do not explain the acute onset of an extensive Kaposi's sarcoma even taking into account the HHV8 positive status." (4)

Courtesy Christopher Tyler. "Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is associated with Kaposi sarcoma (KS) in patients with AIDS and KS, classical KS, or endemic KS. Because HIV infections and HIV/AIDS are common in Thailand but KS is very rare (only 0.2% of reported patients with AIDS in Thailand had KS), researchers determined the HHV-8 seroprevalence among populations who were HIV positive or at risk of HIV infection. " (1)

"The antibody prevalence was 24.2% in the total population. The prevalence was higher among HIV-negative men (13.0%) but was similar among HIV-positive women (27.9%) and HIV-negative women (23.8%). The HHV-8 seroprevalence among wives whose husbands were HIV-1 positive did not differ according to their husband's HHV-8 status. There was no association between HHV-8 seroprevalence and reported sexual behavior or STD history. "(1)

"Conclusion     Despite the rarity of KS among patients with AIDS in Thailand, HHV-8 infections are common and do not appear to be frequently transmitted sexually in these populations. "(1)

"In this issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases (October 1, 2004), Chen et al. report on HHV-8 seroprevalence in northern Thailand, a region notable for a very low incidence of KS despite a relatively high incidence of HIV/AIDS, and lend further support to the related concepts that HHV-8 infection is not uncommon in HIV-negative adults in regions of the world in which KS is not endemic and that transmission of HHV-8 often occurs by nonsexual means. " (2)

"Another interesting finding reported by Chen et al. is the lack of correlation between the relatively high incidence of HIV/AIDS and HHV-8 infection and the very low incidence of KS. "(2)

"As the authors suggest, it is very likely that there are unrecognized cofactors involved in KS pathogenesis that have yet to be accounted for. " (2)

Last question while reading up on the seroprevelance of HHV-8 I noticed that the incidence of HHV-8 seropositivity was higher (average twice as high) amongst patients with ESRD who where on dialysis compared with the seroprevelance of control groups from the same geographical area (references available). Why ?

Best Wishes

James J Whitehead

Clinical trials volunteer Member and


(1)N Chen and others. Seroprevalence of Human Herpesvirus 8 Infection in Northern Thailand.  Clinical Infectious Diseases 39(7): 1052-1058. October 1, 2004.

(2)S D Hudnall. Crazy 8: Unraveling Human Herpesvirus 8 Seroprevalence (Editorial Commentary). Clinical Infectious Diseases 39(7): 1059-1061. October 1, 2004.

(3). (1)MMBR Online Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews, June 2003, p. 175-212, Vol. 67, No. 2 1092-2172/03/$08.00+0 DOI: 10.1128/MMBR.67.2.175-212.2003 Copyright 2003, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

(4)J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2004 Mar;18(2):191-3. Iatrogenic Kaposi's sarcoma and HCV infection. Monti M, Mancini LL, Ceriani R, Hendrickx I, Guizzardi M. Departement of Dermatology, I.C. Humanitas, University of Milan, Via Manzoni, 56 - Rozzano (Milano), Italy.

Competing interests: Clinical trials volunteer