New aggressive strain of HIV discovered


Researchers have discovered a new, more aggressive strain of the
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that develops into AIDS much more
quickly than other strains, Medical News Today reported.

In a new study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases,
scientists detailed the new strain as a “recombinant” virus – a hybrid
of two virus strains. Called A3/02 – a cross between the 02AG and A3
viruses – the strain can develop into AIDS in just five years after
first infection – one of the shortest time periods for HIV-1 types.

“Recombinants seem to be more vigorous and more aggressive than the
strains from which they developed,” said first author Angelica Palm, a
doctoral candidate at Lund University in Sweden.
So far, the A3/02 strain has only been seen in Guinea-Bissau, West
Africa, but other studies have shown that recombinants are spreading
more quickly across the globe.

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“HIV is an extremely dynamic and variable virus. New subtypes and
recombinant forms of HIV-1 have been introduced to our part of the
world, and it is highly likely that there are a large number of
circulating recombinants of which we know little or nothing,” said
senior author Patrik Medstran, professor of clinical virology at Lund
University. “We therefore need to be aware of how the HIV-1 epidemic
changes over time.”

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