FRENCH researchers have discovered a new subtype of the AIDS virus that appears to have jumped the species barrier to humans from gorillas.
The research was carried out at a national referencing laboratory for HIV at the Rouen Hospital Centre in northwestern France , New Vision reports.
Meanwhile, the acting director of the health agency's HIV/Aids Department, Teguest Guerma, said the WHO was "closely monitoring" the developments but as yet was not planning to issue any new treatment guidelines.
She said: "There's no reason why it won't be sensitive to retro-viral treatment," adding though that it was "too early" to draw any conclusions , News24 reports.
However, these findings indicate that gorillas, in addition to chimpanzees, are likely sources of HIV. The discovery of this novel HIV lineage highlights the need to better monitor the emergence of new HIV variants, particularly in western central Africa from where existing HIV groups have originated , Science Daily (press release) reports.