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Antibodies to gp41 and nef in otherwise HIV-negative homosexual man with Kaposi's sarcoma.

Bowden FJ, McPhee DA, Deacon NJ, Cumming SA, Doherty RR, Sonza S, Lucas CR, Crowe SM

  • Journal Lancet (London, England)

  • Published 20 Jun 1991

  • Volume 337

  • ISSUE 8753

  • Pagination 1313-4

  • DOI 10.1016/0140-6736(91)92982-8


A homosexual man with histologically confirmed Kaposi's sarcoma remained seronegative for HIV-1, HIV-2, and HTLV-1 on conventional tests over a 4-year period. HIV cultures were also negative on thirteen separate occasions. However, serum antibodies to synthetic peptide analogues of the gp41 and nef regions of HIV-1 were consistently detected on an enzyme immunoassay. Tests with the polymerase chain reaction with primers directed to the gag and env regions were negative. The antigens to which the antibodies were produced might have come from a defective HIV mutant, another retrovirus, or a hitherto unknown "agent of Kaposi's sarcoma" with similar antigenic epitopes.