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Lysogenic viruses and Gene Therapy

A.J.Cann nna at le.ac.uk
Fri Dec 22 11:18:18 EST 1995


pk20 at cornell.edu (Peter) wrote:
>Here's a question that's been plaguing my mind for a while.  What 
>causes HIV and other viruses to remain lysogenic/dormant for long periods of 
>time, if they indeed do so?

They don't. Read the paper(s) by David Ho et al published in Nature last year, 
e.g:
Ho,D. et al. Rapid turnover of plasma virions & CD4 lymphocytes in HIV-1 
infection. Nature 373: 123-126 (1995).

>Apparently HIV isn't detectable for six months after infection; is this due to dormancy? 

Oh yes it is (by PCR) - read the paper cited above. ANTIBODIES are not detectable for 6-8 weeks after infection.

>p.s.  I'm getting mixed signals from professors concerning gene therapy.  Some 
> seem to imply that it has great potential as a clinical tool while others 
>cast it aside as something that is stirring up a lot of dreams but will soon 
>fizzle out.  Should I be thinking about gearing my graduate studies towards 
>gene therapy or is this foolish?  Which grad schools have good active research 
>in this area?  I never run out of questions...

Gene therapy is not foolish, it's part of the future of medicine - but we're not quite there yet.

Dr Alan J. Cann  PhD,   Department of Microbiology & Immunology,
University of Leicester,  P.O. Box 138,  Medical Sciences Building,
University Road, Leicester LE1 9HN,  UK.
Email: nna at le.ac.uk     http://www-micro.msb.le.ac.uk/AJC/nna.html





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