Magazine article Science News

New Virus, Growth Factor Found for AIDS

Magazine article Science News

New Virus, Growth Factor Found for AIDS

Article excerpt

New virus, growth factor found for AIDS

Yet another virus that apparentlycauses AIDS--along with a growth factor in the AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma and a role for leukemia viruses in the AIDS scenario--were among the new findings presented by scientists during this week's Third International Conference on AIDS held in Washington, D.C.

According to Robert C. Gallo of theNational Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Md., his research group and other collaborators have recently found the following:

In addition to the previously describedHIV-1 (also known as HTLV-III) and HIV-2 viruses, there appears to be a third, distinct retrovirus capable of causing the fatal disease. The scientists found the virus in blood samples from 10 Nigerian patients with AIDS or AIDS-like syndrome. Tests using the patients' serum and known AIDS viruses showed that the newly isolated virus is a separate human retrovirus that causes AIDS, says Gallo, who expects more such viruses will be found. He says the discovery increases the risk of infection by an AIDS-causing virus, but that "we shouldn't panic' since the virus seems to be less virulent than the other AIDS viruses.

Although the bluish or reddish skinnodules of Kaposi's sarcoma are frequently associated with AIDS, NCI scientists have determined that the syndrome probably is not directly caused by the HIV virus, says Gallo. And, he says, his group has regulated the growth of Kaposi's sarcoma cells in the laboratory for the first time, by manipulating the one or more growth factors released by retrovirus-infected lymphocytes. …

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