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Man, Monkeys and Malaria

Charles Gilks
Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences
Vol. 356, No. 1410, Origins of HIV and the AIDS Epidemic (Jun. 29, 2001), pp. 921-922
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3067044
Page Count: 2
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Abstract

Bizarre though it may now seem, in the last century a whole series of experiments was conducted that involved injecting fresh monkey blood into human volunteers or patients. The reasons, valid at the time, were either to treat neurosyphilis with a relatively benign simian malaria infection (so-called pyrogen therapy), or to establish which monkey malaria species were potential zoonotic reservoirs of infection that then may have interfered with malaria eradication campaigns. Although direct inoculation of fresh blood is the most effective way of retroviruses as well as malaria parasites crossing the species barrier, this hypothesis was never taken up or researched. Unlikely, but not disproved, it is important to remember some of the more hazardous experiments that were done in good faith, too long ago to be recorded on electronic databases.

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