Netherlands reports for new variant of HIV


The Researchers of the Netherlands have discovered a highly virulent and transmissible variant of HIV; it causes a rapid decline in immune system strength and can cause severe health issues if not treated on time.

The study found that patients contaminated with the subtype-B variant of HIV-1, called the VB variant, showed a “significant” difference before antiretroviral treatment compared to individuals infected with other HIV forms.


As per the study, people with the VB variant declared higher levels of the virus in their blood and showed CD4 cell counts that rapidly decreased as those infected with other strains.

CD4 cells are also recognized as T-cells, a subset of white blood cells that helps to protect the body’s immune system.

Researchers examined 109 patients infected with the VB variant and compared them with those suffering from subtype-B HIV strains; they noted that age, sex, and suspected transmission mode for these 109 individuals were all specific to people living with HIV in the Netherlands.

The researchers again analyzed data from a cohort that included more than 6,700 HIV positive patients; they discovered 92 patients infected with the new variant.

According to the study, the viral load in these individuals was 3.5 to 5.5 times higher than the average. In addition, the researchers found that individuals with the VB variant had twice the rate of CD4 cell degradation, putting them at a higher risk of developing AIDS more rapidly.

It is asserted by the researchers that individuals infected with the new variant VB can have an increased high risk of switching the virus to others.


However, after starting their treatment, researchers declared that patients with the VB variant had equivalent immune system recovery with other HIV patients.

By summing up their study, it is noticed that the VB variant spread more quickly than other HIV forms during the 2000s, but has been decreasing with “considerable uncertainty” since about 2010.



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