Feb 12, 2006
Hello, my name is steve and I work for an ASO in Canada. Ive just read an article about subtypes. Is this different than the strains? If so can you tell me more about the different subtypes and how you test for them? Thanks Steve
Response from Dr. Holodniy
The terminology is messy. Strain usually refers to the specific virus a patient received, whereas subtype is a more global term that divides HIV-1 into about 10 larger families. Subtype is usually determined by sequencing HIV-1 genes like the envelop or polymerase genes. Consensus sequences for each subtype have been developed, which looks at thousands of strains that are similar and comes up with the most common sequence among all of them (hence the consensus). Patient strains can then be analyzed and compared to subtype consensus sequences to determine which subtype it is.
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