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New debate?
Mar 17, 2002

Dear Dr. Feinberg: 1. Is the inoculum size important in terms of early symptoms and the time it takes to seroconvert? 2. Common sense would say "YES", even if there is no data, it sounds logical to think that the greater amount of virus you receive at infection, the more likely is the body to react sooner and more violently. 3. If argument 2 is "granted" by common sense, then: infection due to faulty protection (i.e. faulty condoms) is more likely to take longer to be detected and would yield the cases of very late seroconversion (6 months or more), because the inoculum size in these instances would be very small. 4. A documented example would be that of the social worker who pinched her finger and took over a year to seroconvert. The argument would be: the inoculum size was very, very small.

Thanks for your comments!

Response from Dr. Feinberg

I know of no data for inoculum size and tthe time to seroconversion. There are data that people who receive large inocula (such as receiving a unit of infected blood) tend to progress to AIDS faster than those who acquirte their HIV across a mucosal surface (by having sex).


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