To the Editor.—
The isolation of type C virions from a normal human fibroblast strain described by Panem et al (Science 189:297, 1975) received banner headlines in your medical news of July 28. While this ties in nicely with the extensive work performed on inbred mice over recent years and can be reconciled with the ubiquitous oncogene hypothesis of Todaro and Huebner, it might perhaps be considered in another light.Extensive work by our veterinary colleagues has demonstrated that in most species it is now recognized that there are two main groups of oncarnoviruses. In cats, for instance, feline leukemia virus, which is oncogenic, causes immunosuppression and a variety of other diseases and is transmitted horizontally. The second group comprises the endogenous feline oncarnoviruses; the latter genome has been detected in DNA and RNA of all cat-cell cultures and tissues tested. While these viruses are morphologically indistinguishable from feline leukemia
Parker JE. Oncarnoviruses. JAMA. 1976;235(4):372. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260300010002
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