SV40: The Vaccine Scandal You’ve Never Heard Of

SV-40 is a small double stranded, circular DNA virus of rhesus monkey origin. It is closely related to JC and BK viruses of human origin. While BK virus may not cause human disease, JC virus can cause a very severe brain illness in HIV infected patients, that is called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy or PML. SV-40 is also distanly related to human papillomaviruses, some of which cause cervical cancers.

SV-40 infection is now widespread within the human population almost certainly as a result of poliovaccine produced in rhesus monkey kidney cells during the 1950s. A recent study showed infection in 23% of blood samples from normal individuals. The virus can also be detected in sperm fluid and is likely to be passed congenitally to future generations (Martini et al. SV40 Early Region and Large T Antigen in Human Brain Tumors, Peripheral Blood Cells, and Sperm Fluids from Healthy Individuals. Cancer Research 56: 4820-4825, 1996). As the title indicates this paper also confirms previous reports that SV-40 is present in a significant proportion of human brain tumors. Other reports have shown SV-40 in human brain tumors, e.g. Bergsagel et al. New England Journal of Medicine 326: 988-993, 1992. SV-40 has also been detected in a high proportion of human mesotheliomas (Carbone et al. Oncogene 9: 1781-1790, 1994); and in bone tumors called osteogenic sarcomas (Carbone et al. Oncogene 1996). …

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