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Bad Manners and Good Gossip

« Jeffrey Dach Says Bisphosphonate Drugs Are Creating a New Generation of Toulouse Lautrecs | Main | Dear Dr. Culshaw: What Is "World" AIDS Day, Anyway? »

November 30, 2006


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Chris Tyler

I think this paper, 'Cardiolipin polyspecific autoreactivity in two broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibodies' mentioned above, is troubling for the reason specified (inducing autoantibodies), but what I see is something more fundamental.

Antibodies are used so flippantly in 'HIV' research, testing, and science that people have forgotten a very fundamental caveat they come with; even MONOCLONAL antibodies are POLYSPECIFIC.

"Here we demonstrate that the two most broadly reactive HIV-1 envelope gp41 human mAbs, 2F5 and 4E10, are polyspecific autoantibodies reactive with the phospholipid cardiolipin."

The problem is that any time a reaction is seen on the 'HIV' antibody tests, the assumption is made that it's 'HIV' antibodies reacting; and that there are even such things as 'HIV' antibodies to begin with.

The Perth Group have repeatedly pointed out that even monoclonal antibodies are polyspecific and as such can be complete wild-cards. This is especially important with tests like the p24 antigen test which claims to use monoclonal antibodies to p24. Since it's known that the p24 antigen test is just a tad less than reliable, it's a wonder so many people go on using antibodies, even 'monoclonal' antibodies, to base not only diagnostic decisions upon but also so much research.

Given the fact that so many people who do end up testing positive have had a history of broad antigenic stimulation, it's a wonder why the claim is made that the 'HIV' antibodies are 99.9% accurate given the chaotic history many serum samples have been through.

For me the paper above round-aboutly demonstrates that sure, vaccine development is dicey at best, but more fundamentally, antibodies they so preciously rely on are an even more dicey foundation for 'HIV' science to rest so much of its weight on.


Michelle Thomas

Those "rare broad HIV-neutralizing polyspecific abs" may owe their efficacy solely to the exposed host cell phospholipids, and not any viral epitopes.

- and that may not be a bad thing...

google "bavituximab"


Subversive Grad. Student


The antibody you mention, Bavituximab, is a laboratory developed antibody, which has nothing to do with the broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies 2F5, 4E10, and 2G12. Bavituximab was designed to be used for passive treatment of individuals infected with viruses, or afflicted by cancer. Also, the developers of this monoclonal antibody (Mab), Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, have no desires to induce this antibody through vaccination.
Researchers of the broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies (i.e., 2F5, 4E10, & 2G12), however, do have an intent to induce these antibodies through vaccination. This process is potentially dangerous, especially if these antibodies are, as Haynes et al. suggested, autoreactive. Messing with immunological tolerance would not only open the doors for production of these anti-HIV antibodies, it could potentially allow the production of a variety of other autoreactive antibodies.


Note from Otis: MT, You will have noticed that two comments of yours subsequent to the one replied to here have been deleted. The reason is quite simply that GS's essays were not intended to open a discussion of immuno-babble suitable for specialists (even if they claim to be "lay people"). Your point has been addressed quite fully once. If you wish to enjoy any further correspondence and edification from GS, send him an email through me.

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