S. Popov: Another example would be the bacterium that causes Legionnaire's Disease. The bacterium, as rule, only affects people who are weak: the elderly, veterans... veterans who drink and smoke and are therefore susceptible to that disease. But if you give them an autoimmune component in that bacterium, it turns out to be highly effective in terms of immune response, and the initial disease can even be... may not even be apparent.
Slava Paperno: Did you personally work on such projects?
Popov: Yes, in fact, that's what we were doing in Obolensk. A recombinant legionella, which did not initially result in death in animals... the initial symptoms of lethal outcome were absent. But then, two weeks on, the animals would end up semi-paralyzed. This was a very particular effect on the nervous system, in which only the animal's hindquarters, the rear legs were essentially paralyzed, while the front legs behaved quite normally. So all the animals were crawling around on two legs.
Paperno: Did you complete and submit the product?
Popov: Yes, it was completed and submitted, and that was the year that the biological program was shut down.
Paperno: And what if it hadn't been shut down?
Popov: If it hadn't been shut down... I was already working on developing a similar formula for monkeys. Which would be one step away from a formula which would be effective against human beings.
Paperno: Was it interesting to do that?
Popov: From the scientific point of view, it was something that no one had ever achieved before, no one had ever demonstrated. It was, let's put it this way, this was science... the science which it was based on indicated that there was a tremendous opportunity, and that was impressive. That was, kind of, from the scientific standpoint, was truly... it seemed that this was very significant, that we could go quite far with it, in that sense, and create new agents of that type.