New HIV strain discovered - increased risk of AIDS?

New HIV strain discovered - increased risk of AIDS?

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Danger from new HIV strain?

For the first time in nearly twenty years, a new strain of HIV has been discovered, the virus that causes AIDS. Is there now a new wave of contagion?

A new strain of HIV has now been identified in the current study by the University of Missouri. The results of the study were published in the journal "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes" published by JAIDS.

What kind of virus is it?

The new subtype of the HIV virus is called HIV-1 subtype L. It is the first new strain of HIV to be discovered since 2000. The new strain is assigned to the same family of virus subtypes (Group M) that are responsible for the global HIV pandemic.

HIV has evolved

HIV has several different subtypes or strains that can change and mutate over time. The identification of new strains of the disease is very important, so it can be ensured that existing tests for the detection of the disease are really effective. Identifying the new strain provides clues as to how HIV develops over the years.

Where did diseases arise from the new subtype?

In order to explain that viruses are a new subtype, three cases of the new virus must be identified independently of one another. The first two diseases caused by the new subtype were identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1983 and 1990. The third sample found in the Congo was collected in 2001 as part of a study to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus. At the time, however, there was no technology to determine whether it was a new subtype.

New technology enables complete sequencing

The 2001 sample was finally examined using newly developed techniques. The researchers were able to completely sequence the sample. In other words, you could get a complete picture of the virus. So it was finally determined that it is actually subtype L of group M.

Can the new strain be treated?

It is still unclear how this variant with the designation CG-0018a-01 affects the body and whether there are differences in the effect. Since current forms of treatment for HIV are able to combat a large number of virus strains, the researchers assume that the new strain can also be treated effectively.

Constant monitoring of virus changes is necessary

In order to end the HIV pandemic, the frequently changing virus must be constantly monitored in terms of its development using the latest technology. “Since CG-0018a-01 is more closely related to an ancestral HIV strain than to the isolates from 1983 or 1990, additional strains are likely to circulate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and possibly elsewhere,” the researchers report. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 36.7 million people live with HIV worldwide. UNAIDS estimates that around 1.8 million people were newly infected in 2016 alone. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Julie Yamaguchi, Carole McArthur, Ana Vallari, Larry Sthreshley, Gavin A. Cloherty et al .: Complete genome sequence of CG-0018a-01 establishes HIV-1 subtype L, in Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (query: 07.11.2019) , JAIDS



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