Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Two Of Four Known AIDS Virus Groups Originated In Gorillas

Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) originated in western lowland gorillas, according researchers who conducted a comprehensive survey of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection in African gorillas.

HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS, has jumped species to infect humans on at least four separate occasions, generating four HIV-1 lineages -- groups M, N, O, and P. Previous research from this team found that groups M and N originated in geographically distinct chimpanzee communities in southern Cameroon, but the origins of groups O and P remained uncertain.

The four cross-species transmissions have had very different outcomes in humans. Group M gave rise to the AIDS pandemic, infecting more than 40 million people worldwide by spreading across Africa and throughout the rest of the world. Groups N and P, at the other extreme, have only been found in a few individuals from Cameroon. However, group O, although not as widespread and prevalent as group M, has nonetheless infected about 100,000 people in west central Africa.


Full story here.
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