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Two years ago, a JAMA news article on acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was accompanied by three electron micrographs labeled HTLV-III—human T-cell lymphotropic virus (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 1984;251:2901-2909). Provided by the National Cancer Institute, they are identical to those published originally by institute investigators headed by Robert C. Gallo, MD (Science 1984;224:503-505).
It now turns out that the electron micrographs are of a cell culture infected, not with HTLV-III, but with the lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV) isolated early in 1983 by Pasteur Institute investigators headed by Luc Montagnier, PhD. A specimen of the virus was sent to Gallo and his associates by the Paris group in September of that year.
Gallo and his associates could not get the lymphadenopathy-associated virus to grow in culture for more than a brief period. Nevertheless, they had electron micrographs made of such examples of viral replication as they were able to obtain in order to show
Marwick C. Clarifying electron micrograph labeling. JAMA. 1986;255(23):3212. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370230018005