For the first time in nearly two decades, a team of scientists has discovered a new strain of HIV. HIV has several subtypes or strains and they mutateover time. HIV subtypes are classified into different groups based on the latest guidelines (2000). The HIV strain that causes a global pandemic is from group M.
The newly discovered strain is also from the HIV-1 Group M, subtype L.1 and it is the first HIV subtypes from group M identified since guidelines for classifying subtypes were established in 2000. It was reported by Abbott Laboratories, which conducted the research with the University of Missouri.
Is it dangerous for us?
We don’t need to panic because not a lot of people are infected with this strain and there is medicine available to treat against this strain. There’s no reason to panic or even to worry about it a little bit,” Fauci, director of US National institute of allergy and infectious diseases told CNN. “Not a lot of people are infected with this. This is an outlier.”
The findings were published Nov. 7 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
This could help us understand how HIV evolves. With a proper understanding of how it evolves, we could hopefully find a way to treat AIDS in the future.
Nov 7 (Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes)