Can viruses combine to create a Super Virus?
In regard of STDs – sexually transmitted infections – is it possible that virus strains, or types can combine in a host, say a human, and create a more destructive dangerous or communicable super virus?
Infectious diseases consultant Estee Torok answered this infectious question...
Estee - Absolutely. I mean, so there was a case report I think in the New England Journal of Medicine a few years ago of exactly that - a man who presented with HIV infection and then was subsequently re-infected with another strain and had a faster disease progression and died in fact.
Chris - Because once you've got one strain, if you add another one on top then they can share genes between the viruses and you end up with a virus that's got all of the worst bits of both.
Estee - Absolutely.