New highly infectious strain of HIV discovered

(ORDO NEWS) — A group of scientists led by Professor Christoph Fraser of Oxford University’s Big Data Institute reported the discovery in the Netherlands of a new, more dangerous and contagious strain of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The corresponding article was published in the journal Science.

The researchers discovered the mutation while analyzing blood samples from HIV-infected Europeans from Uganda. In 17 of them, a previously unknown variant, called VB, was identified.

Of these, 15 were residents of the Netherlands, so the scientists additionally studied samples taken from 6,700 HIV-positive Dutch people, after which they identified 92 more carriers.

The viral load in those infected with the VB variant of HIV was several times higher than in those infected with already known variants of the virus.

In addition, they had a higher risk of developing AIDS and transmitting the infection. However, after antiretroviral therapy, the immune system returned to normal.

Later analysis showed that the VB strain appeared in the Netherlands in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In the 2000s, it spread faster than other variants of HIV, but after 2010 its spread began to decline. The effective fight against HIV in the country made it possible to contain the spread of the infection.


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