Scientists identify first new HIV strain in two decades

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A joint study by Abbott Laboratories and the University of Missouri has identified a new subtype of the HIV strain for the first time in 19 years.

A press release from Abbott Laboratories explains that three different samples of the HIV virus were obtained from the Democratic Republic of Congo, one in 1983, one in 1990 and a third one in 2001.

Scientists weren't able to test the third sample because technologies at the time prevented the researchers from doing so. Now, scientists have developed next-generation sequencing technology to allow them to build a complete genome sequence from the third HIV sample.

After analyzing the HIV virus, the researchers have identified it as the HIV-1 Group M subtype L.

In the news release, one of the authors of the study, Mary Rodgers, principal scientist at Abbott Laboratories, said that identifying new viruses is like "searching for a needle in a haystack."

Rodgers added that the new sequencing technology was like a "magnet" that allowed them to find the needle.

According to CNN, current HIV treatments are able to fight different types of virus strains. It is believed to be able to fight this newly identified HIV strain as well.

The study concluded by saying that additional strains of HIV could be spreading around in the Democratic Republic of Congo or elsewhere.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. New subtype of the HIV strain and a calendar icon
2. Three different HIV strains and flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo
3. Genome sequence of the new HIV strain
4. New HIV virus identified as the HIV-1 Group M subtype L
5. Current HIV treatments and the newly identified HIV strain

VOICEOVER (in English):
"A joint study by Abbott Laboratories and the University of Missouri has identified a new subtype of the HIV strain for the first time in 19 years."

"A press release from Abbott Laboratories explains that three different samples of the HIV virus were obtained from the Democratic Republic of Congo, one in 1983, one in 1990 and a third one in 2001."

"Scientists weren't able to test the third sample because technologies at the time prevented the researchers from doing so."

"Now, scientists have developed next-generation sequencing technology to allow them to build a complete genome sequence from the third HIV sample."

"After analyzing the HIV virus, the researchers have identified it as the HIV-1 Group M subtype L."

SOURCES: HIV sequence database, CNN, Scientific American, Abbot Libraries, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
https://www.hiv.lanl.gov/content/sequence/HelpDocs/subtypes-more.html
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/06/health/hiv-new-strain-discovered/index.html
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/first-new-hiv-strain-in-19-years-identified/
https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2019-11-06-Abbott-Announces-Discovery-of-New-Strain-of-HIV-Keeping-Global-Health-Community-a-Step-Ahead-of-the-Virus
https://journals.lww.com/jaids/Abstract/publishahead/Complete_genome_sequence_of_CG_0018a_01.96307.aspx