Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

February 28, 2016
5 min watch

VIDEO: Accidental HIV contagion transmitted via unknown route

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BOSTON — John M. Coffin, PhD, professor of genetics and molecular microbiology at Tufts University, discusses a case study presented at CROI 2016 in which a research student working with lentiviral vectors in a laboratory became infected with HIV.

During a cell culture experiment, the student inadvertently handled a vector that had an additional envelope protein, Coffin says. Though not proven, it appears the virus was either spread via air, droplets on the skin, or another route that HIV would not typically be transmissible.

“This is something that needs to be looked at very carefully by institute biosafety committees and by regulatory authorities to perhaps revise the guidelines recommended for working with some of these viruses that had been previously considered to be quite safe,” Coffin says.

Disclosure: Coffin reports no relevant financial disclosures.