There is fresh hope for HIV patients as a healthcare company in the United States has identified a new subtype of HIV with the finding showing that cutting edge genome sequencing is helping researchers overcome mutations.
The cutting edge genome sequencing has already been recorded in three people whose blood samples were drawn between the 1980’s and 2001 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The strain, HIV-1 Group M subtype L had to involve three cases being identified independently to be considered successful according to guidelines set in the year 2000.
Group M is recognized as the most prevalent form of the HIV-1 virus with subtype L currently being the 10th in the group. Group M is also the first to be identified since the guidelines were issued in the year 2000.
The Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, suppresses the viral load of a HIV carrier to the extent that the virus is both undetectable and cannot be transmitted.
Research reveals that the ARV’s have generally performed well against a variety of subtypes.
“Since subtype L is part of the major group of HIV, Group M, I would expect current treatments to work with it,” Principal Scientist Mary Rodgers of the Global Viral Surveillance Program at Abbott said.
Carole McArthur, a professor of oral and craniofacial sciences at the University of Missouri located in Kansas City and a co-author of a paper on the finding in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS) noted that in the increase of connectivity in the Word, containing of viruses in one location cannot continue as the only option.
“In an increasingly connected world, we can no longer think of viruses being contained to one location,” Carole McArthur said.
“This discovery reminds us that to end the HIV pandemic, we must continue to outthink this virus and use the latest advancements in technology and resources to understand its full scope,” Mary Rodgers concluded.
The World Health Organization estimates that at least 36.7 million people are known to be living with HIV with at least 1.5 million new infections annually.