Isolation and Identification of a Novel Virus from Patients with Aids

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  • Collaborative Center for the Investigation of AIDS, Registry of AIDS Pathology, Department of Infectious and Parasitic Disease Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC 20306-6000

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has afflicted over 20,000 people worldwide. The disease is characterized by the development of opportunistic infections and uncommon malignancies such as Kaposi's sarcoma and B cell lymphoma. Although a viral etiology of this disease has long been suggested, conventional approaches for isolating infectious viral agents have not been fruitful. Through cocultivation of AIDS patients' peripheral blood cells with mitogen-stimulated normal human lymphocytes or permanent human T cell lines, a number of laboratories have isolated T cell-tropic human retroviruses (HTLV-III/LAV). These retroviruses have been shown to be prevalent among patients with AIDS or AIDS-related complex.

Genetic materials isolated from spleen and Kaposi's sarcoma tissues of two AIDS patients were each transfected directly into a continuous mouse cell line (NIH/3T3). The tissues (1–2 g) were minced and treated with collagenase (5 mg/ml) in 1 ml PBS at 37°C for 15 min.