Abbott announced on Wednesday November 6 that a team of its scientists identified a new subtype of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), called HIV-1 Group M, subtype L.
The findings show the role next-generation genome sequencing is playing in helping researchers stay one step ahead of mutating viruses and avoiding new pandemics.
Since the beginning of the global AIDS pandemic, 75 million people have been infected with HIV and 37.9 million people today are living with the virus.
This research marks the first time a new subtype of “Group M” HIV virus has been identified since guidelines for classifying new strains of HIV were established in 2000. Group M viruses are responsible for the global pandemic, which can be traced back to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Abbott created its Global Viral Surveillance Program 25 years ago to monitor HIV and hepatitis viruses and identify mutations to ensure the company’s diagnostic tests remain up to date. As part of this research, Abbott scientists confirmed that its core and molecular laboratory diagnostic tests can detect this new HIV strain.
The latest study “Complete genome sequence of CG-0018a-01 establishes HIV-1 subtype L,” is now available online.