New Technologies Allow for Better Tracking of HIVLast Updated: December 02, 2010. A review published online Dec. 1 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases discusses the emergence and tracking of new strains of HIV as well as the methodological progress made in tracking the global molecular evolution of the virus, including its many circulating recombinant forms.
THURSDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A review published online Dec. 1 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases discusses the emergence and tracking of new strains of HIV as well as the methodological progress made in tracking the global molecular evolution of the virus, including its many circulating recombinant forms (CRFs).
Denis M. Tebit, Ph.D., and Eric J. Arts, Ph.D., of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, date the original transmission of HIV-1 from chimpanzees to humans as occurring in 1908 in equatorial Africa, with fast spread to urban areas due to widespread emigration from the tropical forest regions and intermixing of viral strains. At least 48 CRFs are currently identified.
New technologies, such as the heteroduplex tracking assay and real-time polymerase chain reaction, are able to track CRFs and unique recombinant forms (URFs), which are created after co-infection with at least two different HIV-1 isolates, the authors write; more than 30 percent of infections in regions where several HIV subtypes co-circulate are URFs.
"Improvements in sampling and monitoring techniques might facilitate the ability to use old archival samples to knit together the complex evolutionary past of the HIV epidemic," the authors write. "Finally, these advanced evolutionary studies on primate lentiviruses must be coupled with phenotypic analyses on the actual viruses and advances in understanding of spread in the population over time, changes in virulence, and transmissibility."
One of the authors has a patent under review and has received royalties from Diagnostic Hybrids/Quidel for HIV-1 assays. He also has financial ties to Merck.
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