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Wed Nov 6, 2019, 09:07 PM

Scientists at Abbott discover first new HIV strain since 2000

‘We’re working to stay a step ahead of the virus.’

Scientist Mary Rodgers spends her days tracking killers — elusive, constantly mutating viruses that travel the globe and are responsible for illness or death in millions of people. Wednesday, in an article published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, Rodgers and her team at Lake County-based Abbott, along with co-authors at the University of Missouri, announced their discovery of the first new subtype of the HIV virus identified since 2000.

“We’re always looking for viruses,” says Rodgers, who heads the Global Viral Surveillance Program at Abbott, a team of researchers who focus on identifying new strains of hepatitis and HIV and following trends in identified strains. “I think a lot of people might not realize that there is more than one strain of HIV, and at Abbott we’re making tests to catch all these different strains, so it’s important that we know all the different types out there.”

The newly discovered strain, called HIV-1 Group M, subtype L, was first collected in the 1980s in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but there were only two samples that could be examined via gene sequencing. Abbott researchers, Rodgers says, took note, but could not advance further toward positively identifying a new form of the virus — a third sample was needed to confirm the discovery. In 2001, a sample that appeared to be similar was collected, but this time the sample couldn’t be fully sequenced. “We couldn’t synthesize the virus,” says Rodgers. “The quantity in the sample was just too small.”

Researchers at Abbott maintain a virus library with more than 78,000 samples, and the information about the potential new strain of HIV essentially sat as part of that archive until 2018. “We always wondered if there would be another subtype,” says Rodgers, “and we always thought that there might be another one out there if we just kept looking long enough.”


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Reply Scientists at Abbott discover first new HIV strain since 2000 (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Nov 2019 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Nov 2019 #1

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Nov 6, 2019, 09:33 PM

1. So glad they found this strain! So glad they were looking, too. n/t

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