The final nail is in the coffin for the now largely refuted theory that the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) crossed into humans as a result of contamination of oral polio vaccine (OPV), according to a new study. In the April 22 Nature, Michael Worobey and colleagues report that the chimpanzees claimed to be the source of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVcpz) that crossed over actually contain a SIVcpz unrelated to HIV-1.

“Scientifically, this paper spells the end of the OPV theory,” said Edward Holmes, from the University of Oxford, who was not involved in the study.

The OPV/AIDS theory holds that chimpanzees from the Kisangani (previously Stanleyville) area in the Democratic Republic of Congo that were purportedly used in the preparation of OPV transmitted a SIVcpz to humans. Evidence against this has been piling up, first with the absence of SIVcpz or chimpanzee DNA in old OPV...

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