New Strain Of HIV Discovered

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Researchers in France have discovered what is believed to be a new strain of HIV. The new strain has been named RBF 168 and was discovered in a 62-year-old woman originally from Cameroon who is now living in Paris.

The researchers, led by Jean-Christophe Plantier, MD, from the University of Rouen in France, recently published their findings about RBF 168 in Nature Medicine.


According to the researchers, RBF 168 differs from previously-known strains of HIV and may be closely related to strains of simian immunodeficiency virus.

The strain may be more difficult to diagnose, since some conventional tests may not be able to detect it. RBF 168 is believed to be the first strain of HIV derived from gorillas. Previously-known strains are believed to have derived from chimpanzees.

Plantier and his colleagues said the newly-discovered strain shows no evidence of recombination with other known HIV-1 lineages.

The researchers also said they do not believe this case is an isolated incident and expect more patients with HIV may have the same strain. They said they believe the patient in question contracted HIV through contact with another person.