Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • Researchers identify most infectious HIV strains


Researchers have profiled the HIV strains most likely to be transmitted during sex. The identification may help the hunt for vaccines to combat the most infectious strains.

A person who has been infected with HIV for several years harbours many slightly different strains of the virus, thanks to the virus's attempts to mutate and evade the immune system. Only one strain usually passes onto someone new, but scientists had little idea which strains those would be.

The results of a study conducted in Zambia suggest that transmitted strains tend to have a particular form of the protein called gp120 on their surfaces. This should be good news for those developing HIV vaccines, who may be able to target prototype vaccines more effectively against the most infectious strains of the virus.

Link to full Nature Science Update article

We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.