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August 3rd, 2009
12:10 PM ET

New strain of HIV identified

PARIS, France (CNN) - French researchers have identified a new human immunodeficiency virus, the first derived from gorillas, a report said Monday.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/03/art.aids.ribbon.gi.jpg caption="A new virus is difficult to detect by tests because it is not closely related to the other three HIV variants."]

The three previous HIV variants came from chimpanzees. The new findings indicate that gorillas, in addition to chimpanzees, are likely sources of HIV, the researchers concluded in a report published in the weekly Nature Medicine journal.

The new virus, called RBF 168, was detected in a 62-year-old woman who moved to Paris from the western Africa nation of Cameroon, the report says. She tested positive for HIV in 2004, and researchers led by Jean-Christophe Plantier identified the virus as being closely related to a recently discovered simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV).

The new gorilla virus "has many of the biological properties necessary for human infection," the report says.

"The human case described here does not seem to be an isolated incident, as before coming to Paris the subject had lived in the semiurban area of Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, and reported no contact with apes or bush meat," the researchers said.

That would indicate that the woman contracted the virus from another human.

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Filed under: Health
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. JEZEBEL58

    How can a human cotract a disease that's of simian origin,unless she was scratched by that animal by working with it.There are so many diseases all over the world,why blame the continent and as for the storms,hurricanes-you've got to blame mother nature for that.Who was responsible for the kidnappings of oil field workers and slavery?We should remember the bible with the plagues,we are not living the way God intended.

    August 4, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  2. Tim H

    This just goes to show that good has ever come out of Africa with the exception of diamonds. Africa has given the world so many bad things from tropical storms, hurricanes, genocide, ebola, HIV, slavery, kidnappings of oil field workers, bombings, and now a form of HIV called RBF 168.

    How can one continent in the world give the rest of the world so many problems?

    August 4, 2009 at 8:30 am |