The third member of the family of T cell leukemia viruses (HTLV III) has been proposed as the primary etiologic agent of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). A high risk of AIDS has been reported among patients with hemophilia, particularly those with factor VIII deficiency who receive commercial clotting factor concentrates. In a prevalence survey conducted between September 1982 and April 1984, initial serum samples from 74% of hemophiliacs who had ever been treated with commercial factor VIII concentrate, 90% of those frequently treated with factor VIII concentrate, and 50% of those treated with both factor VIII and factor IX concentrates had antibodies reactive against antigens of HTLV III, compared with none of the hemophiliacs treated only with factor IX concentrate or volunteer donor plasma or cryoprecipitate. Two of the seropositive patients have developed AIDS-related illnesses, and a third patient died of bacterial pneumonia. One initially seronegative patient developed antibodies against HTLV III during the study and is currently well. The predominant antibody specificities appear directed against p24 and p41, the presumed core and envelope antigens of HTLV III, suggesting that factor VIII concentrate may transmit the p24 and p41 antigens of HTLV III. However, the presence of infectious retroviruses in clotting factor concentrates and the effectiveness of screening and viral neutralization procedures remain to be determined.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology