Protection against retrovirus -cell wall penetration or vaccines

We are currently experiencing an epidemic- possibly even a pandemic- caused by the Corona retrovirus infection. Our scientists are busily working in their labs and countries budgeting for multibillions of dollars on developing a specific vaccine. Since it is generally agreed among the viral microbiologists that before such RNA viruses can produce their diseases they first must gain entrance into the host(human ) cells – specifically the T4 helper lymphocytes ,maybe these world wide research labs should be concentrating on this simplistic approach to prevention were you don’t need expensive equipment- including human subjects. for testing – just a few `microscopes equipped with phase contrast microscopy and time lapse cinephotomicrophy. The scientists need only special training in microscopy and tissue culture techniques-training I already possessed- see the summary below..

After completing a doctorate in Plant Pathology and cytogenetics at the U of Toronto in 1955 and an MD degree at U. of Manitoba in 1960 and 4 years of training in tissue culture methodology in the Department of Cancer Research with the U. of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon I was invited in 1965 to help the Winnipeg Clinic set up a tissue culture laboratory at their large private clinic in Winnipeg. We purchases a special Time lapse unit called a Sage Cinephotomicrographic apparatus. which enabled us to observe and record on movie film the behaviour of various living cells-.We were especially interested in the behaviour of various blood cells and the role they played in the homograft rejection section .In the Dec 06,1966 issue of the Medical Post, Gene Telpher detailed the status of the lab.

In the summer of 1968 the Winnipeg Clinic decided to dissolve their research lab and to donate the equipment to the U.of Manitoba medical school -specifically the Dept of Anatomy. When I was unable to find employment in medical research I began medical practice in 1969 . In 1974 I set up my own private research lab to study aging at the cellular level. When I found that the equipment which had been donated to the Dept of Anatomy was just “gathering dust” I arranged to borrow it- specifically the Sage time lapse unit and the Reichert micro photometer.. For the next 15 years while in active practice I would spent my “spare time “. obtaining footage of the behaviour of lymphocytes in blood culture. I mainly used – hanging drop” blood culture on specimens which were grown in blood culture with most experiments cultured from a few hours to several days.- In the late 1980’s and early 90’s when the level 4 Microbiology lab in Winnipeg under the direction of Dr. Frank Plummer,were doing studies on the retrovirus HIV/AIDS -he was interested in his observation that the sex workers in Kenya had developed an immunity to becoming infected. I mentioned in the opening paragraph of this post that one of the prerequisites of becoming infected is that these retroviruses first have to penetrate the host cell and be present in the cytoplasm before the RNA virus can instruct the host DNA to reproduce copies of the RNA virus that maybe this Sage photograph unit might become in useful in how these sex women are protected from becoming infected from AIDS infections..-Maybe one does not need to develop a vaccine. .

Retrovirus pandemic reporting often lacking details

According to Wikipedia- – retroviruses are  RNA viruses that have the ability to insert a copy of their own  RNA genome into the DNA genome of a host cell that they invade . To do this amazing genetic inversion process, retroviruses  use their own reverse transcriptase enzyme to instruct the host to produce a DNA copy of their own RNA genome . This new retroviral DNA- called a provirus–  is then incorporated into the host cell DNA genome with an integrase enzyme. The host cell then treats this viral DNA as part  of its own genome transcribing it into RNA and then  translating the viral genes along with the host cells own genes-into  peptides following  the Francis Crick model which every student learned in their high school biology class.:namely: first its DNA-to RNA-then this RNA into peptide.  With the HIV retrovirus pandemic this genetic process became uncontrolled filling the host cytoplasm of the targeted T4 host lymphocytes or helper cells  with copies of its RNA which then  reduced the hosts ability to produce antibodies. Such victims with decreased ability to produce antibodies  began showing signs of acquired immune deficiency disorders or AIDS– It is hoped that the the molecular biologists working with these viruses have excluded this “accumulation “ property of the other retroviruses.Look up: Wikipedia- retroviruses.

Just 2 more remarks before closing this post/blog. A similar process of integration occurs in bacteria except that here the -provirus  is called a bacteriophage. The second point relates to prevention: Since before this inversion process can occur, the retrovirus first has to be present within the cytoplasm of the host cell ,presumably  by direct penetration of the cell membrane. Research on studies to prevent this cell wall penetration may be less expensive and/or  time consuming than working on  vaccines. 

I leave that latter discussion  to future blogs and /or posts on my website. <> and/or <> 

A word of caution :Molecular  biologists quickly realized that retroviruses could be useful tools in adding new genes to the human DNA genome but  do run the risk of potentially creating new retrovirus pathogens.  Dr. Leonard Horowitz hasdetailed  some of these  possibilities and  dangers In his textbook Emerging Viruses  AIDS & Ebola. Nature, Accident or Intentional ?,

Since this inversion genetic process is permanent we should probably not  use blood  and/or other body fluids from such individuals for transfusions and other bodily fluid exchanges. Dr.S.B.Hrushovetz Mar 03/2020