New Strain of HIV Discovered

gorillaFrench researchers have discovered a new human immunodeficiency virus, the first strain of HIV derived from gorillas.  The other strains of HIV are all derived from chimpanzees.  The new strain, called RBF 168,  was identified in a 62-year-old woman who moved to France from Cameroon.  Researchers believe the strain is a common one and that the woman contacted the virus from another human because she reported that she had no contact with apes or bush meat.

Researchers believe that the virus likely arose via gorilla-to-human transmission.  But, they also said that chimpanzee SIV could have given rise to the new strain via an indirect transmission to gorillas and then humans.  Or the new strain could have arisen from chimpanzee SIV being transmitted directly to both humans and gorillas.  For more information on this new HIV strain, see ScienceDaily.

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