have come across a new strain of HIV, with the first strain being
identified almost 20 years ago.
to the article, which was published in the Journal of Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome, Abbott Laboratories, Presbyterian Mission Agency
and University of Missouri researchers agree there is a new kind of
HIV since the introduction of the classification of HIV strains back
are two kinds of HIV – HIV-1 and HIV-2. The HIV-1 category has
several strains. One such strain is Group M, which has been linked
back to the Democratic Republic of Congo and is responsible for the
worldwide HIV epidemic.
newly-discovered strain is being classified as subtype L in HIV-1
cases of the virus under subtype L were seen in 1983 and 1990 in the
DRC. An additional case was seen in 2001, which led to the study.
Unfortunately, researchers could not identify the genome to classify
it as an HIV subtype until now.
principal scientist Mary Rodgers said finding a new virus is like
looking for a needle in a haystack. The latest discovery will help to
stop pandemics from happening.
forms of the new HIV strain is making its way around, there is no
classification for them just yet.
University associate professor Manish Sagar said the finding is
further proof of the many HIV strains in the world. Sagar was not
involved in the study.
to researchers, the prevalence of this HIV subtype is less than what
was discovered, which means it’s unlikely to spread. However, it’s
important to gather and find the different strains as they happen.
said current HIV regimens can be used to fight the strain, as no data
points to their ineffectiveness against it.
University of Missouri-Kansas City co-author Carole McArthur said the discovery is a prime example of the need to outsmart the virus if the HIV pandemic is ever to end.