New strain of HIV virus discovered

Experts say too early to tell what impact it will have on drug therapy

Dr Mary Rodgers, principal scientist of Infectious Disease Research at Abbott. Scientists from the US drug company found the new strain of the HIV virus. PHOTO: ABBOTT
Dr Mary Rodgers, principal scientist of Infectious Disease Research at Abbott. Scientists from the US drug company found the new strain of the HIV virus. PHOTO: ABBOTT

A new strain of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been discovered by researchers in the United States, the first in almost two decades. The discovery comes after guidelines for what counts as a new subtype of the HIV pathogen were revised in 2000.

There must be at least three independently discovered samples containing a virus subtype before it can be classified as new. Scientists are also required to sequence the entire genome of all three, which can take months or years to complete.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2019, with the headline 'New strain of HIV virus discovered'. Print Edition | Subscribe