Author(s): Gallo RC, WongStaal F
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Abstract Three human T-lymphotropic viruses have been isolated and characterized in the past 5 years. The ability to culture target cells with T-cell growth factor and sensitive detection systems for the virally encoded polymerase reverse transcriptase permitted isolation of HTLV-I, which is strongly linked to the cause of adult T-cell leukemia and associated with other lymphoid malignancies in endemic areas. The same techniques, using a permissive human tumor cell line, allowed the isolation and characterization of HTLV-III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus, which is implicated as the primary cause of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This virus shares some features with HTLV-I and HTLV-II, such as additional genes not found in most retroviruses. One gene codes for a transcriptional activator protein and may be a feature of a larger group of related retroviruses. The clear identification of the primary cause of AIDS has resulted in the development of specific immunologic reagents, preventive and therapeutic proposals, and comprehensive identification of the clinical diseases associated with this virus.
This article was published in Ann Intern Med
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination