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February 7, 1986

HTLV-III Antibodies in Human Immune γ-Globulin

JAMA. 1986;255(5):609. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370050047007

To the Editor.—  I recently have had occasion to test two separate vials of off-the-shelf immune γ-globulin for human T-cell lymphotrophic virus type III (HTLV-III) antibodies by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the Western blot methods and found both to be positive.In subsequent inquiries to the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, the drug company, and local health authorities, I have, in sum, been told that all the current supply available in the United States is, indeed, known to be positive for the HTLV-III antibody.I have been assured that attempts to culture the virus or demonstrate its presence by mock inoculation satisfactorily excluded the presence of live viral agents in the γ-globulin.I am appalled that the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, or local health services or the drug companies have not informed physicians throughout the United States that administration of