Friday, August 24, 2012

CNN is reporting an occurrence of immune deficiency without HIV in some populations


CNN is reporting an occurrence of an "evolving" immune deficiency with opportunistic infections among some people with Asian descent without HIV.  The disease appears to be autoimmune in nature and is not communicable. So far, there is no consistent presentation of any particular virus related to the autoimmunity, but this, in combination with environmental or genetic factors, sounds possible.

Don Lemmon of CNN interviewed Dr. Anthong Fauci of NIH about the recent observation of illness.

The CNN video link is here

It's important to note that before HIV (that is, HTLV-III) was identified in 1984, there was a recognized similar retrovirus HTLV-I, which sometimes cause T-cell leukemia, especially in Japan, and was curiously also associated with some opportunistic infections, like pneumocystis pneumonia.  It appears to have been blood-transmitted. It is not clear why HIV became a worldwide pandemic and HTLV-I did not.  

Likewise, the CDC has been saying that babyboomers should be tested for Hepatitis C, which is often without symptoms or only mild symptoms (but possible later cancers) and is caused by an RNA virus (not technically a retrovirus) spread by blood, but apparently not an explosive pandemic, but spreading slowly, somewhat in a manner like Hepatitis B in the past.  

NIH is also dealing with the appearance of a “super bacteria” in some patients at its Clinical Center in Bethesda MD in 2011.  This bacterium was very hard to control despite the strictest possible infection control procedures in the hospital.  

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