Scientists have discovered a highly aggressive new strain of HIV which blows into AIDS three times faster than the regular strain.Md Noman Siddique (Author) Published Date : Feb 17, 2015 08:52 IST
In a new research researchers have discovered a highly aggressive new strain of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) which develops into a full blown AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) three times faster than the regular strain in Cuba. The researchers have also mentioned that the progress of the virus is so fast that the anti-retroviral medicine doesn t seem to work as individuals discover it far later in the stages of the diseases.
At the University of Leuven in Belgium researchers who had conducted the study said, The HIV strain CRF19 can progress to full blown AIDS within two to three years of exposure to virus. Typically, HIV takes approximately 10 years to develop into AIDS . They have also added, Patients with CRF19 may start getting sick before they even know they've been infected, which ultimately means there's a significantly shorter time span to stop the disease's progression .
One of the researchers Anne-Mieke Vandamme, a medical professor at the Leuven University said, We have a collaborative project with Cuba and the Cuban clinicians had noticed that they recently had more and more patients who were progressing much faster to AIDS than they were used to [seeing]. In this case, most of these patients had AIDS even at diagnosis already .
During the study Professor Vandamme and an international team had studied more than 70 patients who have been recently infected with this mutated strain of HIV. They discovered that none of the patients had been treated for HIV and infected with the mutated strain of HIV developed AIDS within three years. According to Professor Vandamme, Here we had a variant of HIV that we found only in the group that was progressing fast. Not in the other two groups. We focused in on this variant [and] tried to find out what was different. And we saw it was a recombinant of three different subtypes Another thing was that they had much more virus in their blood than the other patients. So, what we call the viral load was higher in these patients .
It is well known among medical professionals that without any treatment HIV infections take 5 to 10 years to develop into a full-blown AIDS. The progression of HIV to AIDS is contributed to the patient s weak immune system. Researchers said though this kind of virus responds to most anti-retroviral drugs yet patients may not realize that they have the mutated strain before it is too late for therapy.
Researchers have also confirmed that this variant was seen in Africa before, but it was not spreading at that time. Though this strain can be linked to Africa further study is required.
Scientists have discovered a highly aggressive new strain of HIV which blows into AIDS three times faster than the regular strain.