Association Between Simian Virus 40 and Human Tumors

Frontiers in Oncology
John Charles RotondoF Martini


Simian virus 40 (SV40) is a small DNA tumor virus of monkey origin. This polyomavirus was administered to human populations mainly through contaminated polio vaccines, which were produced in naturally infected SV40 monkey cells. Previous molecular biology and recent immunological assays have indicated that SV40 is spreading in human populations, independently from earlier SV40-contaminated vaccines. SV40 DNA sequences have been detected at a higher prevalence in specific human cancer specimens, such as the brain and bone tumors, malignant pleural mesotheliomas, and lymphoproliferative disorders, compared to the corresponding normal tissues/specimens. However, other investigations, which reported negative data, did not confirm an association between SV40 and human tumors. To circumvent the controversies, which have arisen because of these molecular biology studies, immunological researches with newly developed indirect ELISA tests were carried out in serum samples from patients affected by the same kind of tumors as mentioned above. These innovative indirect ELISAs employ synthetic peptides as mimotopes/specific SV40 antigens. SV40 mimotopes do not cross-react with the homologous human polyomaviruses, BKPyV, and JCPyV. Immunolog...Continue Reading


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