CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update AIDS Virus Isolations in U.S., France Traced to Same Patient
June 3, 1993
Philadelphia Inquirer (06/03/93), P. A2
The original samples of HIV that were isolated by researchers
in France and other researchers in the United States in the
early 1980s appear to have come from the same patient,
according to a study published in today's issue of the journal
Nature. The study said that the virus from the patient
apparently tainted a laboratory culture used in the United
States to isolate HIV. Earlier work demonstrated that the
patient's virus also contaminated French laboratory cultures
from which the French isolate was taken. The French and
American labs shared material from their cultures, unknowingly
allowing contamination in both labs. The study's conclusion
reaffirms what researchers had said about the striking
similarity between the strain of HIV isolated by the U.S.
National Cancer Institute and the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
Thomas White and colleagues at Roche Molecular Systems Inc.,
who conducted the study, examined the genetic material from
HIV samples. They concluded that the pool of HIV from which
the cancer institute isolated its virus was contaminated
between October 1983 and early 1984. The tainted virus was
initially recovered from a patient identified as LAI.