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Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Apr 1;32(7):1068-84. Epub 2001 Mar 15.

CHAT oral polio vaccine was not the source of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 group M for humans.

Author information

  • 1University of Pennsylvania, Doylestown, PA, 18901, USA.

Erratum in

  • Clin Infect Dis 2001 May 1;32(9):1386.


A book published in 1999 hypothesized that the scientists who worked with the CHAT type 1 attenuated poliomyelitis strain, tested in the former Belgian Congo in the late 1950s, had covertly prepared the vaccine in chimpanzee kidney cells contaminated with a simian immunodeficiency virus, which evolved into human immunodeficiency virus type 1 group M. This article summarizes the results of the investigation conducted by the author to determine the legitimacy of the accusation. Testimony by eyewitnesses, historical documents of the time, epidemiological analysis, and analysis of ancillary phylogenetic, virological, and polymerase chain reaction data all indicate that this hypothesis is false.

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