Isolation of a T-lymphotropic retrovirus from a patient at risk for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)

Science. 1983 May 20;220(4599):868-71. doi: 10.1126/science.6189183.


A retrovirus belonging to the family of recently discovered human T-cell leukemia viruses (HTLV), but clearly distinct from each previous isolate, has been isolated from a Caucasian patient with signs and symptoms that often precede the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). This virus is a typical type-C RNA tumor virus, buds from the cell membrane, prefers magnesium for reverse transcriptase activity, and has an internal antigen (p25) similar to HTLV p24. Antibodies from serum of this patient react with proteins from viruses of the HTLV-I subgroup, but type-specific antisera to HTLV-I do not precipitate proteins of the new isolate. The virus from this patient has been transmitted into cord blood lymphocytes, and the virus produced by these cells is similar to the original isolate. From these studies it is concluded that this virus as well as the previous HTLV isolates belong to a general family of T-lymphotropic retroviruses that are horizontally transmitted in humans and may be involved in several pathological syndromes, including AIDS.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / microbiology*
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromobox Protein Homolog 5
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Retroviridae / isolation & purification*
  • T-Lymphocytes / microbiology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / microbiology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • CBX5 protein, human
  • Chromobox Protein Homolog 5
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase