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New HIV Strain Discovered

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the evolution-in-action dept.

Medicine 263

reporter and barnyjr were among the readers alerting us to the discovery of a new strain of the HIV virus, found in a woman from the west central African nation of Cameroon. "It differs from the three known strains of human immunodeficiency virus and appears to be closely related to a form of simian virus recently discovered in wild gorillas, researchers report in Monday's edition of the journal Nature Medicine. ... The most likely explanation for the new find is gorilla-to-human transmission, Plantier's team said. But... they cannot rule out the possibility that the new strain started in chimpanzees and moved into gorillas and then humans, or moved directly from chimpanzees to both gorillas and humans. ... Researchers said it could be circulating unnoticed in Cameroon or elsewhere. The virus's rapid replication indicates that it is adapted to human cells, the researchers reported."

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One Brave Dude... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925349)

Somewhere, someone was either very desperate, brave, stupid or all of the above to be getting busy with a gorilla.

Re:One Brave Dude... (4, Funny)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | about 5 years ago | (#28925557)

Sometimes, love has no barriers...or cupid just does not know that bestiality is a no,no.

Re:One Brave Dude... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925741)

For some reason, your comment makes me think about the prison scene with King Gorilla and The Monarch on Venture Brothers...

So THAT'S how it happened!

(P.S., my captcha was "dateline"... creepy)

Re:One Brave Dude... (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | about 5 years ago | (#28925809)

Maybe he was desperate for a fix of heroin and used the gorilla's dirty works.

Re:One Brave Dude... (4, Funny)

Fross (83754) | about 5 years ago | (#28926067)

Given the rate of infection is much higher in the, ahem, receiver of bodily fluids, than the giver, it is much more likely that it wasn't the human who had the predatory sexual instincts.

Yikes. :/ Raped by a gorilla and given Simian aids.

Re:One Brave Dude... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28926335)

Too bad humans make much 'better' sexual predators than a gorilla would ever do.

Re:One Brave Dude... (3, Insightful)

Sausage Nibblets (1469103) | about 5 years ago | (#28926151)

Somewhere, someone was either very desperate, brave, stupid or all of the above to be getting busy with a gorilla.

You forgot drunk.

Re:One Brave Dude... (1)

vandit2k6 (848077) | about 5 years ago | (#28926251)

don't knock it till you try it :) :) (no I am not suggesting anything)

Re:One Brave Dude... (4, Insightful)

TerranFury (726743) | about 5 years ago | (#28926273)

Maybe the transmission happened when somebody ate the gorilla (or prepared the raw meat)? This seems more likely than interspecies sex.

Re:One Brave Dude... (2, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 5 years ago | (#28926573)

More likely the preparation. IIRC, the HIV virus really isn't that hardy outside of a host - cooking the meat likely would have eliminated the infection (and again, IIRC, HIV can generally only be caught orally through and open sore or such in the mouth - it won't survive the conditions in the stomach to infect the host).

Re:One Brave Dude... (2, Interesting)

dbet (1607261) | about 5 years ago | (#28926493)

Or a gorilla scratched or bit him.

Risk (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925351)

The most likely explanation for the new find is gorilla-to-human transmission

So you'll be able to spot those at greatest risk by the way they are walking?

Re:Risk (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | about 5 years ago | (#28925743)

Gorillas may be far stronger than humans, but we are hung much better.

Re:Risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925819)

Something to think about if you ever run into a gorilla while being naked.

Re:Risk (1)

vain gloria (831093) | about 5 years ago | (#28926093)

I'm not sure I'd want to publicly claim to have a gorilla penis. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penis [wikipedia.org]

For example, an adult gorilla's erect penis is about 4 cm (1.5 in) in length;

Re:Risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28926615)

not after it's torn from your body like a dirty banana it isn't

Alright, guys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925353)

Who screwed the gorilla?

How? (2, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 years ago | (#28925355)

How would HIV be transmitted from a gorilla to humans?

Re:How? (2, Insightful)

Lilo-x (93462) | about 5 years ago | (#28925403)

hunting and eating,

Re:How? (4, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | about 5 years ago | (#28925423)

During hunting most likely, get a cut from a branch/rock/weapon/etc, then get the blood from the gorilla in the cut, or get bitten/attacked by the gorilla itself. Could also be transmitted through eating (really I don't know fuck all about it), I imagine that a lot of people there (or "here" for that matter) have gum/teeth problems, perhaps an open wound or sore in the mouth from something, add that to improperly (or uncooked) meat, voila.

Has the virus been observed in any animal ? (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | about 5 years ago | (#28926197)

It somehow seems relevant to be able to tell people which animal they should try to avoid. Chimpanzees ? Gorilla's ? Other types of monkeys or perhaps an entirely different animal ?

Re:Has the virus been observed in any animal ? (5, Insightful)

PsychoSlashDot (207849) | about 5 years ago | (#28926575)

It somehow seems relevant to be able to tell people which animal they should try to avoid. Chimpanzees ? Gorilla's ? Other types of monkeys or perhaps an entirely different animal ?

Dude, in some southern African countries the adult prevalence hits 20% The animal to avoid on that content appears to be: humans.

Re:How? (1)

wintermute000 (928348) | about 5 years ago | (#28926535)

To paraphrase Ricky Gervais, 'at least that's the excuse I would have given'

Re:How? (5, Funny)

ferd_farkle (208662) | about 5 years ago | (#28925429)

Killing, butchering, and eating your own meat involves a great deal of blood.

in africa also known to eat raw meat, drink blood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925705)

and there is always being bitten as you try to mount gorilla :D

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925869)

Are gorillas part of the regular diet in Cameroon?

Re:How? (1)

dvoecks (1000574) | about 5 years ago | (#28926205)

The bloody party is always field dressing. It's no stretch to imagine cutting yourself while field dressing an animal. I wear very thick rubber gloves when dressing deer. Not getting messy is a luxury villagers out hunting for "bush meat" probably don't have.

Re:How? (5, Funny)

noundi (1044080) | about 5 years ago | (#28925435)

Gorilla mage casts HIV.
You take 23 damage!
You're poisoned!

And that's how babies are made.

Re:How? (1)

laejoh (648921) | about 5 years ago | (#28925461)

Here, a clue: alt.binaries.erotica.bestiality...

Re:How? (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 5 years ago | (#28925477)

There are stories of primates raping humans.

Who said it has to be bestiality?

Re:How? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 years ago | (#28925565)

There are stories of primates raping humans.

Who said it has to be bestiality?

I'd be skeptical of such stories, because they could plausibly be (shudder) bestiality rape erotica.

Not saying it definitely never happens, I'm just saying the wretched, amazing human imagination strikes me as the more likely cause of such stories.

Re:How? (2, Insightful)

Wain13001 (1119071) | about 5 years ago | (#28925827)

Good point.

You will notice that the places where such stories tend to occur are the same places where "witches steal men's penises" and the like. Somehow I find myself having doubts as well.

Re:How? (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | about 5 years ago | (#28925857)

Rule 34 writ large.

Re:How? (1)

squoozer (730327) | about 5 years ago | (#28925577)

I'm guessing it was probably from blood getting into a cut / mouth rather than a misguided attempt to create an ape / human hybrid if you catch my drift. If you ever hunt something you will find out that like humans animals, as a general rule, don't want to die. This leads to a lot of blood, thrashing about and noise where you can easily end up cut. Even when they are dead there are risks as even a small animal has a surprising amount of blood in it which for some reason wants to spread itself liberally about your person.

Re:How? (5, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | about 5 years ago | (#28925659)

Somebody once told me, and by somebody I mean someone that should actually be knowledgeable about the subject (Zoology expert), that apparently our DNA is close enough to some primates that it IS possible to have offspring with them, similar to how Lions and Tigers can have offspring (of course most animal hybrids are usually sterile), but nobody's ever tried it for a plethora of reasons (mostly moral ones).

Now this leads me to 2 points:

1) If anyone has any facts or data relating to this little tidbit of information that either proves or disproves it, please post a link or two! I'm very intrigued to know if he is actually right.

2) If this is IS true, then we can probably put this whole idea of someone fucking a Monkey and catching AIDS to rest, since by and large there would HAVE to have been a monkey/human hybrid born at some point, which I don't think has ever happened (despite supposedly being possible).

Re:How? (0, Flamebait)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28925855)

...there would HAVE to have been a monkey/human hybrid born at some point

I know there's a GWB joke in there, I just know it... too bad he wasn't the one whose birth certificate is missing, that would be a zinger now!

Re:How? (1, Troll)

ArcherB (796902) | about 5 years ago | (#28926597)

...there would HAVE to have been a monkey/human hybrid born at some point

I know there's a GWB joke in there, I just know it... too bad he wasn't the one whose birth certificate is missing, that would be a zinger now!

Racial overtones aside, why couldn't the same joke be made about Obama? We strive for a color blind society, right?

Re:How? (5, Interesting)

rainmaestro (996549) | about 5 years ago | (#28926323)

I'd have to go back into journals to find exact articles, but here is what I remember from my Primatology courses:

(1) Human/Chimp hybrid experiments have been done, by a Soviet researcher in the early 20th Century. No offspring were ever produced.

(2) Recent research (2000+) suggests that we did breed with chimps regularly in the period following the initial divergence. As time goes on and we continue to diverge, it becomes less feasible.

Not very specific, but it wasn't a topic we covered in any real depth.

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28926629)

Not the way they're doing it.

Re:How? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28925807)

God-schmod, I want my monkey man!

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925895)

Just go get Steve Ballmer drunk. Much simpler.

Just make sure it is in a bar with seats FIXED to the ground.

Re:How? (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 5 years ago | (#28925601)

Most diseases of humans (but not all) are believed to be zoonoses, meaning they have crossed over from animals to humans. We refer to a certain form of the influenza virus as "bird flu," but that's not really accurate, as all forms of influenza are believed to have originated with birds. It's hard to imagine a human getting sneezed on by a duck and coming down with the flu, but the transmission only needs to happen somewhere once for the disease to have a shot at viability amongst human populations.

Re:How? (0)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 5 years ago | (#28925649)

How would HIV be transmitted from a gorilla to humans?

Come on man. I'd draw you a picture, but it's definitely NSFW.

Re:How? (1)

mo0s3 (1563877) | about 5 years ago | (#28925681)

Most of the others are on the ball but here's a reference [avert.org] about the transmission of HIV-2, which is not the strain in the article

Re:How? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#28925701)

That's common retarded badmouthing: 'Because they're Africans they must be "oh-so-primitive".'

As the summary states, it is very optimized for humans, and so very likely started in humans too. Which also makes more (common) sense.

Gorilla (3, Informative)

dintech (998802) | about 5 years ago | (#28925357)

It is believed that HIV jumped to humans eating gorilla meat. Note to self, no more gorilla burgers.

Re:Gorilla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925395)

In multiple interpretations of the word....

Re:Gorilla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925723)

Gorilla Burger®

And the award for "Best Named Fictional Fast Food Chain on Television" goes to... dintech!

Re:Gorilla (0)

rhyder128k (1051042) | about 5 years ago | (#28925957)

It sounds more likely that Mario cut himself when he was jumping over one of those barrels. In fact there were lots of opportunities for sexual transmission. Think about that time they all went karting together. Perhaps DK did it with the lady and then Mario did it with her?

Re:Gorilla (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 5 years ago | (#28926003)

What about Gorilla Biscuits? [wikipedia.org]

HIV Positive (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 5 years ago | (#28925381)

I'm HIV positive that I won't have to worry about this, I don't know anybody into animals not even furries.

Re:HIV Positive (0, Informative)

Lilo-x (93462) | about 5 years ago | (#28925415)

I know this was meant to be a joke, but having HIV does not mean you should not protect yourself against HIV exposure, it is possible to contract a different strain which can cause complications, I also believe there has been research into HIV being advanced when coming into contact with someone who has the same but further advanced strain.

Re:HIV Positive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925443)

having HIV does not mean you should not protect yourself against HIV exposure

Having HIV means you should protect *others*. In some countries (Britain for one) it is against the law to have unprotected sex if you are an HIV sufferer and do not disclose it to your partner.

Re:HIV Positive (-1)

Lilo-x (93462) | about 5 years ago | (#28925487)

this is related to known HIV partners, it is quite common for male/male HIV relationships to exist (and in some communities they encourage it)

Re:HIV Positive (1)

TerranFury (726743) | about 5 years ago | (#28926343)

Seems commonsensical.

Dating sites for other STDs exist too, like herpes. Which is kind of funny, given that I'd expect about 25% of the people on "normal" dating sites to have it anyway (as that's roughly the percentage in the population at large).

Re:HIV Positive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28926037)

Let me introduce you to a group of people called zoophiles.

where am I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925383)

wait? what? real.... science... news?

A legacy of colonialism (-1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#28925391)

The evolution of HIV is unfortunate, but the true tragedy is the legacy of European colonialism in Africa. This legacy means that ancient tribal beliefs and superstitions are still prevalent because it was easier to pacify the natives with animism than with modern religion.

So you have bands of young men raping young girls, gangraping widows, murdering albinos, and other horrendous acts in the vain attempt to cure themselves of HIV.

The opportunity to bring Africa into the modern age was thrown away and now we are faced with a backwards, superstitious continent without education, reason, law and order. The responsibility of colonists is to raise the living standards in the colonies. Europeans didn't do it, and now we have multiple strains of HIV and no hope to stop the epidemic.

Pot calling the kettle black here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925455)

Europeans didn't do it

While i agree that the UK and FR have had a major detrimental impact on the african subcontinent...

Have you seen the news about GAP and Levis in Africa lately? and lets not forget that American pharmaceutical companies refuse to make their drugs available in generic form to stop the transmission of aids to unborn babies.

So get off your high horse.

Re:A legacy of colonialism (-1)

Lilo-x (93462) | about 5 years ago | (#28925465)

the proliferation of prostitution has led to the main increase in HIV, that and the ongoing problem of Mother to baby transmission,

Men in Africa do not think it is manly to wear a condom, the continued efforts based around circumcision and awareness are having somewhat of an impact

anyway this is worrying, continued strains may adapt differently to new strains, the concern is around how easily they spread, and whether one day they will mutate into a super aids that is airborne. This is much more likely with a new strain than already existing controlled strains.

Re:A legacy of colonialism (2, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#28925509)

There was a show [pbs.org] describing natural immunity to HIV. In fact, one of the interesting discussions was how the prostitutes in Africa had actually developed immunity to the virus.

Re:A legacy of colonialism (1)

muckracer (1204794) | about 5 years ago | (#28926247)

> one day they will mutate into a super aids that is airborne

Will give swine flu a whole new meaning...

Re:A legacy of colonialism (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925471)

This is actually the first time I have seen someone argue that the FAILURE of colonial powers to eradicate native religions in favour of christianity makes us by extension partly responsible, through historic linkages, for gangrapes. Force religion on people and you're responsible for how they turn out; fail to force religion on people and you're responsible for how they turn out.

Personally, I would rather argue that Africans have a responsibility to cure themselves of their superstitions, and that if they are unhappy with their country borders, to resolve that unhappiness. Europeans succeeded in doing it, many years before the Africans failed to.

Interestingly, even countries that were never colonised and didn't see a single settler are as crappy as the others. What does that say for your causal responsibility chain?

Re:A legacy of colonialism (1)

funkatron (912521) | about 5 years ago | (#28925677)

This legacy means that ancient tribal beliefs and superstitions are still prevalent because it was easier to pacify the natives with animism than with modern religion.

First, there is a certain amount of "modern" (ie European) religion in Africa, enough for people to get concerned when the pope gives bad sex advice.

Second, what benefits would a wider introduction of European religion have? Religions usually seem to build their values around the concerns of the time and place where they form so it's likely that say European Christianity would be a bad fit in Africa.

The opportunity to bring Africa into the modern age was thrown away and now we are faced with a backwards, superstitious continent without education, reason, law and order.

Treating Africa as a single entity makes it difficult to have any meaningful discussion here. Africa has a large number of countries and there are tribal groups within some of those countries. These countries range from relatively healthy economies with legal systems and education through to war torn or poverty stricken non-functional states. Beliefs and religions obviously vary as well. Could you be more specific about which parts of Africa you are referring to?

Re:A legacy of colonialism (1)

TerranFury (726743) | about 5 years ago | (#28926523)

Parent post expresses a very, very unusual point of view. It's almost saying, "colonization, done right, is a good thing; the problem was that Europeans did it wrong." It's very Rudyard-Kipling, "white man's burden"-esque.

Like the old joke (5, Funny)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 5 years ago | (#28925397)

A man and his wife are at the zoo, when the man notices a large male gorilla leering at his wife. The man tells his wife, look, that gorilla is really hot for you, show him some skin. Just joking, the wife flashes the gorilla, and it makes the beast bang on the cage, jump up and down and bellow. Just then, the man opens the door to his cage, throws the wife in, and says "now, tell him you have a headache".

What scares me (2, Interesting)

boliboboli (1447659) | about 5 years ago | (#28925453)

Is when some new strain of HIV becomes more easily transmittable.

Re:What scares me (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | about 5 years ago | (#28925613)

Why ? There are lots "more easily transmittable" things like AIDS. Well, they're generally not AIDS per se, but you'll get the same symptoms so who really cares ? Here's a short list [wikipedia.org]

Personally I find the "opposite" of AIDS more scary [wikipedia.org]

Ahhhh ... isn't evolution grand ?

Re:What scares me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28926103)

HUZZAH TO AUTOIMMUNE

I am a genetic chimera, and my immune system had a serious crack in the relationship with my large intestine a few years back for some reason.
Not sure about the whole story, but i think it slept with my pancreas or something, can't be bothered with all this relationship nonsense, too much of a hassle.

Only decent thing about it is the fact that i can have a good excuse for being lazy :)

Why people should read the fine article. (5, Informative)

Artifakt (700173) | about 5 years ago | (#28925489)

1. The index patient is from Cameroon, but was living in France at the time of discovery.
2. The patient did not eat gorilla meat personally, by her testimony, and it is likely the mode of transmission to her was from an as yet unidentified male human. She is probably several transmissions removed from the person we would designate the true patient Zero, and that hypothetical person probably is (or was) in Cameroon, and was initially exposed in Cameroon.
3. the patient does not have AIDS symptoms at this time. Best guess is this strain will produce loss of immune function with time if untreated, and will probably respond to the same treatments as the more established strains.
4. This strain could be slower or quicker to go to symptomatic state, not react to some drugs the same, or otherwise vary, but there's no particular reason to expect any super plague or drug resistant strain.

Re:Why people should read the fine article. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925647)

Why not just make it illegal to have sex with non- Western Citizen Blacks? any woman who does so when travelling to Africa is made to check into quarantine for a couple of weeks, and if she refuses to do so or is found HIV positive she is immediately deported. That would have stopped the spread of AIDS in the West. I know it sounds racist, but it would have prevented millions of deaths. indeed, sexual health clinics will often ask you about the origins of your partners, because they are perfectly willing to acknowledge (though never make public -- I used to be on the administrative staff at one and got reprimanded for suggesting it) that travelling to or inviting people from certain countries dramatically increases the chance that you will have a serious disease.

Re:Why people should read the fine article. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925839)

"Why not just make it illegal to have sex with non- Western Citizen Blacks?"

Why not just make it illegal to have sex except under government supervision? I know it sounds stupidly fascist but that's just because it is. Well, just like your proposition.

Re:Why people should read the fine article. (1)

rainmaestro (996549) | about 5 years ago | (#28926543)

Dear Dr. Breen:

Why has the Combine seen fit to suppress our reproductive cycle?

Sincerely, A Concerned Citizen

Re:Why people should read the fine article. (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 5 years ago | (#28925951)

1. People would just say "no I didn't have any sex" no matter how much they had had.

2. You can't "deport" your own citizens.

You just have wet dreams about living in totalitarian regimes obviously, luckily for the rest of us we aren't under one yet.

Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925781)

And it's still no concern for /. readers.

Put some new signs up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925501)

"Please do not feed, or exchange bodily fluids with the monkeys"

Now that should do it..

Re:Put some new signs up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925527)

the problem, as I've been told, is that the bodily fluids of the chimps and gorillas (not monkeys), come into contact with humans' bodily fluids during hunting, butchering, eating and selling of the meat from the same. A common practice in these areas. Not at all what you're implying

Impact (1)

voxner (1217902) | about 5 years ago | (#28925549)

The article does not seem to mention the impact of the virus on existing treatments. Is the new virus a hiv version of MDR-TB?

you forgot to mention (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 5 years ago | (#28925555)

the woman was 62 when she was diagnosed in 2004

meaning, this could be an old strain of aids. by "old" i mean it could have been in the human population for a long time

i hypothesize this simply because the woman is still alive (assuming she wasn't infected 2 years ago) and mild disease is a sign of an "old" disease

the fate of all diseases and all parasites is equilibrium with its hosts. it does no good to kill off your host so quickly there's no retransmission. so after an initial sickle swinging period of mass slaughter, the strains of any disease that dominate will be those who tend to be more mild, simply because by killing less faster, they spread wider and therefore survive longer

so most likely its not the stand or 28 days later we're talking here

Re:you forgot to mention (5, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | about 5 years ago | (#28925669)

the fate of all diseases and all parasites is equilibrium with its hosts. it does no good to kill off your host so quickly there's no retransmission. so after an initial sickle swinging period of mass slaughter, the strains of any disease that dominate will be those who tend to be more mild, simply because by killing less faster, they spread wider and therefore survive longer

This is a popular myth. It is true of some diseases but not of others.

Consider that not all diseases require human-to-human transmission. Some can be transmitted via non-human vectors, for instance mosquito bites. In those cases, the human does not need to be healthy enough to travel, or to come in contact with other humans. The mosquito takes care of that part, so the human can become very sick, very rapidly, without threatening the viability of the disease. Malaria, for example, is ancient, but has shown no signs of becoming less virulent with time. Similarly, the bubonic plague has not evolved to become less deadly since the major outbreaks of antiquity; we simply know more about how to treat it when it does occur.

equilibrium above all (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 5 years ago | (#28925729)

in the case of malaria, it is the host itself which evolves mitigating factors, such as the sickle cell gene, which has evolved 3 different times in 3 different variations in africa, the mediterranean and southeast asia

but yes, with diseases that are not directly transmitted between hosts of the same species, there is no need to dampen fatality. but then the interspecies mode of transmission is a form of dampening in and of itself

Re:you forgot to mention (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 5 years ago | (#28925961)

But malaria is(relatively speaking) slow to kill and in your example the disease still requires humans to stay alive with malaria to survive because although humans are not the vector they are still the resevoir(almost all strains of malaria only affect humans, not other animals)

Probably a better example would be lyme disease, the disease can affect deer and mice(and other mammals) and is carried by ticks. Even if the disease destroys humans quickly, the fact that deer and mice can continue to carry the disease makes it incredibly potent.

Re:you forgot to mention (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 5 years ago | (#28926451)

Another classic example is cholera, which is transmitted by human feces (particularly when it contaminates water supplies). The more diarrhea, the better for the cholera organism, so cholera strains tend to be very virulent.

Another example is anthrax, which can live outside of a host organism for a long time by becoming a spore and remaining in soil. Because of this capability, anthrax doesn't really care if it runs out of host animals; it just waits for more to come along later.

The point is that while the theory that disease organisms tend toward equilibrium with the animals they infect has some merit, this idea alone is far too simplistic to be an accurate model of all disease behavior.

Re:you forgot to mention (1)

ccbailey (859060) | about 5 years ago | (#28926169)

This is correct. Most African nonhuman primate species have their own particular immunodeficiency virus. We call them SIVs, simian immunodeficiency viruses. Infections in these primate species are essentially asymptomatic. Phylogenetically, HIVs are descendants of a few SIVs implying multiple transmission events from nonhuman primates to humans. Humans are a non-adapted host for the virus and end up developing immunodeficiency. The same is true for Asian monkey species who have not co-evolved with SIV. Thus SIV-infected Asian monkeys are used as the model for HIV infection in humans.

Other viruses display similar behavior. The macaque equivalent to herpes simplex, for instance, causes fatal encephalitis in people but is typically completely asymptomatic in the monkeys.

Fortunately, we know from accidental infection of laboratory staff with SIV that the virus usually fails to replicate in people. In rare instances, the infected person becomes viremic but never developed immunodeficiency. Thus, the finding of an HIV of gorilla origin in a human is interesting but doesn't herald the arrival of some new super-virus pandemic.

Re:you forgot to mention (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 5 years ago | (#28925925)

the woman was 62 when she was diagnosed in 2004

meaning, this could be an old strain of aids. by "old" i mean it could have been in the human population for a long time

Of course. Because 62 year old post menopausal women who don't need to worry about getting pregnant anymore don't engage in behavior that might increase the risk of transmission of STD's, so obviously she's had it for years and it's been circulating in the community for years and we're just hearing about it now.

Or maybe you read the article and I didn't and I'm wrongly chastising you for making the assumption that she must have acquired it long ago because she's 'past it' now... either way is good for me :)

Re:you forgot to mention (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#28925997)

While you're on the right track, it's not that easy. How widely a given disease spreads is dependent on a lot of factors.

Yes, a long incubation period helps spreading it far. But so would ease of propagation. HIV is amongst the diseases that spread fairly badly. It requires the direct exposure of your body fluids to other fluids to initiate a transfer. This is about as "hard" as it gets. There are only two ways, aside of those invented by modern medicine (i.e. blood transfer and IVs), namely sexual intercourse and accidental exposure of your bloodstream to contaminated blood, e.g. when eating blood-rich parts of diseased meat (e.g. liver) AND you having bleeding gums. Mosquitos MAY be a way, but afaik it has been ruled out for HIV, because the virus needs a fairly large "dose" to spread.

It doesn't get much harder than that when it comes to transfer. We're far away from a sneeze and 'breathing the same air' as you have with various influenza strains.

Re:you forgot to mention (0, Offtopic)

Sausage Nibblets (1469103) | about 5 years ago | (#28926193)

meaning, this could be an old strain of aids.

AIDS != HIV.

Be quiet, please (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925563)

This new HIV strain you hear about is the work of G-d as he filters out the accursed sodomites and carnal addicts from our midst. Ignore the "problem," and it will make itself go away when there are no more sexual sinners left.

HIV virus (1, Redundant)

loufoque (1400831) | about 5 years ago | (#28925573)

As in Human immunodeficiency virus virus?

Re:HIV virus (2, Funny)

groslyunderpaid (950152) | about 5 years ago | (#28925695)

I almost used my mod points to mod you redundant (couldn't help myself), but then realized at that point it would instead be funny, so then I caught in a logical conundrum and decided to comment instead.

Always Africans. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925755)

It's always the africans.

Re:Always Africans. (2, Funny)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 5 years ago | (#28925913)

It's always the africans.

That's not true, SARS was the Chinese.

Re:Always Africans. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925963)

Yes but Chinese and Apes cant call each other Brothers ans sister , they don't look at all alike.

Re:Always Africans. (1)

Rival (14861) | about 5 years ago | (#28926181)

It's always the africans.

That's not true, SARS was the Chinese.

And reality television was the Americans.

Re:Always Africans. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 5 years ago | (#28926301)

Actually, I believe the first successful reality TV shows were European shows that were imitated by American TV(Survivor).

Re:Always Africans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28926415)

Wasn't the first Big Brother show Dutch?

Gorillas on heroin? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925805)

Great, someone shared their dirty heroin needle with a gorilla... Come on people!

Swing tree Buck Monkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28925813)

Why is anyone surprised?
If you swing tree and Buck Monkey , you get bad disease Buddy

Monkey love... (0)

nscott89 (1507501) | about 5 years ago | (#28926307)

I, for one, welcome our new primate dominatrices.

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