The Florida Dentist: HIV Molecular Forensics

–The “Florida Dentist” exercise, that is being solved in the Micro labs this week, is a simplified version of an exercise about in the book “Microbes Count!“–

As I told you in the lecture, the exercise is an accurate–but simplified–version of a real story that was in the news in the early 1990s. As a matter of fact, the case was published in one of the most prestigious journals, Science, in 1992. (Check the article’s abstract here).

The real story, in full details, can be found in the following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports:

Initial report (27 July 1990)
Report showing three more cases (18 January 1991)
The story of patients E, F, G (14 June 1991) – This is the story on which the lab exercise was based.
One year later (15 May 1992)
A later report summarizing results of screening most people who were treated by this dentist (7 May 1993)

Although the reports support the hypothesis that the dentist was the source of HIV infection, there were always doubts concerning the mode of viral transmission. For example, a journalist debates the case in the following article The 1990 Florida Dental Investigation: Is the Case Really Closed?

More interestingly, a book was written about the whole story…
(Click the book title for information)

WOW! It seems that you can buy the book for less than a dollar, if you’re in USA.

This case may make the Florida dentist as famous as Typhoid Mary. [Do you know her story?]

p.s. You may want to read more details about DNA forensics.

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3 Responses to “The Florida Dentist: HIV Molecular Forensics”

  1. s.positive Says:

    interesting!
    i liked the story of typhoid Marry and her vilont reaction was funny.
    about the dentist, i can’t get the role of the control?

  2. s.positive Says:

    Dear Dr Ramy,
    I need your help,
    I can’t download any thing from microbes count.

  3. RKA Says:

    s.positive,
    unfortunately you cannot download anything unless you buy the book and register there. Please contact me if you need a particular application.

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