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Video: Complete HIV Genome Found In Human Tissue Sample Taken In Congo In 1966
Complete HIV genome found in human tissue sample taken in Congo in 1966
The sample was taken from a resident of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1966.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus / Photo: NIAID
They talked about this in a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Human immunodeficiency virus was isolated and described in 1983. Previously, the oldest was considered the DNA sequence, which was obtained from a blood test, which was taken in 1976 in the DCR.
Historical HIV DNA samples help scientists track the timing of virus mutations. These mutations further help record how the virus is spreading around the world.
Professor Sophie Gryseels of the Catholic University of Leuven, co-author of the study, called the new findings "very reassuring." The DNA sequence from 1966 does not contradict the current understanding of the time of origin and evolution of HIV. Accordingly, the evolutionary models that scientists use today do not require revision.
According to modern theories, which are based on the DNA sequences of viral samples, HIV first appeared in the early 1900s in Central Africa, and was transmitted to humans from chimpanzees.
In the new study, an international team of scientists led by evolutionary biologist Michael Worobey of the University of Arizona analyzed 1,645 biopsies that were collected in Central Africa from 1958 to 1966. Biological materials were preserved in formalin. Using PCR tests, scientists found only one sample of HIV DNA - in a lymph node biopsy of a 38-year-old man.
There are older samples of HIV DNA from 1959 and 1960. But these sequences are incomplete and therefore less important to scientists.
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