As per a new study report, researchers have found that an HIV-like virus responsible for causing infection in monkeys has been found to exist for thousands of years than it was earlier thought.
It is believed that simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) is 32,000 and 75,000 years old or may even be much older.
The scientists have drawn this conclusion by doing a genetic analysis of SIV strains in monkeys living in Bioko, which is an island off the coast of Africa.
The experts mentioned that to come to the present non-lethal state, the SIV virus took thousands of years. The scientists have also expressed their worries over the implications of slow evolution of the virus on human beings.
Based on DNA sequencing data, it was thought that the virus was only a few hundred years old.
Through computer modeling, it was noted that the rate of mutation was much slower than previously thought.
The scientists also reported that HIV virus will take many years’ time to become less lethal just like SIV did.
The study was done by researchers from Tulane and the University of Arizona and the findings have been published in the September 17 issue of the journal Science.
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