Cellular sequences in stealth viruses

Cloned DNA obtained from the culture of an African green

monkey simian cytomegalovirus-derived stealth virus contains

multiple discrete regions of significant sequence homology (p

values ranging from 4 x 10(- 3) to 1 x 10(-20)) to portions of

known human cellular genes. The stealth virus was cultured

from a patient with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Earlier

studies had revealed considerable sequence heterogeneity

within DNA fragments isolated from virus-infected cells. A set

of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers generated different

PCR products when tested on stealth virus cultures from 4

patients with CFS. Several of the PCR products also contain

regions of significant partial homology to distinct cellular

sequences, including sequences repetitively expressed

throughout the cellular genome. Stealth viruses may play an

important role in the origins and in the genetic diversity of

both viral and cellular sequences.

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