Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Markers of HTLV-III in patients with end stage renal failure treated by haemodialysis.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 19 July 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:161
  1. M Goldman,
  2. C Liesnard,
  3. J L Vanherweghem,
  4. N Dolle,
  5. C Toussaint,
  6. S Sprecher,
  7. J Cogniaux,
  8. L Thiry


    Patients and members of staff from a haemodialysis unit were tested for markers of infection with human T cell lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III), the virus associated with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). An enzyme linked immunosorbent assay showed eight of 100 patients to have antibodies to HTLV-III. In five of these patients past or present infection with HTLV-III was confirmed by Western blot analysis or detection of HTLV-III antigens in lymphocyte cultures, or both. Investigation of other risk factors for AIDS showed that the putative source of HTLV-III was unrelated to dialysis in two patients whereas blood transfusion was the most likely cause of contamination in the others. No member of staff gave a positive result in the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Nosocomial transmission of HTLV-III seems unlikely if precautions similar to those recommended for the control of hepatitis B infection are applied.