Text by Michael Emerman (Editor-in-Chief, Virology)
The HIV-1 pandemic is now over 30 years old and has claimed over 35 million lives. Since its origins in chimpanzees, HIV-1 has diversified into several different subtypes, of which the one that has disseminated most widely worldwide is the one called “subtype B.” The review, HIV-1 subtype B: Traces of a pandemic published in the August 2016 issue of Virology describes the evidence based on viral sequence data of how subtype B emerged in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, went to the America’s in the 1960’s and then subsequently spread around the world establishing connected epidemics on different continents.
Estimated spatial dynamics of HIV-1 Subtype B around the world. Blue lines represent the main dissemination routes of HIV-1 subtype B pandemic form and the main disease epicenters. The epidemic starts in the city of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Africa). Orange lines represent the direction of the B non-pandemic lineage dissemination. Green regions demarcate the countries where a specific lineage of the HIV-1 subtype B is circulating.
About the research
HIV-1 subtype B: Traces of a pandemic
Dennis Maletich Junqueira, Sabrina Esteves de Matos Almeidaa
Virology, Volume 495, August 2016, Pages 173–184