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Recovery of Human Immunodeficiency Virus From Serum

Barbara A. Michaelis, MS; Jay A. Levy, MD
JAMA. 1987;257(10):1327. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390100065011.
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To the Editor.—  Our laboratory has reported the isolation of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from peripheral mononuclear blood cells (PMCs) from over 300 individuals with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or AIDS-related conditions and from asymptomatic individuals from the risk groups.1,2 We have also isolated the AIDS virus from a variety of body fluids, including serum, plasma, tears, urine, saliva, and genital secretions.3,4 We now report the results of a survey of serum samples from 78 randomly selected, seropositive individuals, of whom about 30% were asymptomatic. Infectious virus was recovered from the serum of 20 (25.6%) of these individuals and was generally present in low titers. Only undiluted serum (not a tenfold dilution) yielded infectious virus as detected by assays on uninfected PMCs.2 In one serum sample, 25000 infectious particles per milliliter were detected as measured by end dilution of the serum. This sample came from

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