Publication

Title: Molecular epidemiology: HIV-1 and HCV sequences from Libyan outbreak
Authors: de Oliveira T, Pybus OG, Rambaut A, Salemi M, Cassol S, Ciccozzi M, Rezza G, Gattinara GC, D'Arrigo R, Amicosante M, Perrin L, Colizzi V, Perno CF; Benghazi Study Group.
Journal: Nature,444(7121):836-7 (2006)

Journal Impact Factor (I.F.): 34.48
Number of citations (Google Scholar): 114

Abstract

In 1998, outbreaks of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were reported in children attending Al-Fateh Hospital in Benghazi, Libya. Here we use molecular phylogenetic techniques to analyse new virus sequences from these outbreaks.

We find that the HIV-1 and HCV strains were already circulating and prevalent in this hospital and its environs before the arrival in March 1998 of the foreign medical staff (five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor) who stand accused of transmitting the HIV strain to the children

Download: Full text paper

Citation: de Oliveira T, Pybus OG, Rambaut A, Salemi M, Cassol S, Ciccozzi M, Rezza G, Gattinara GC, D'Arrigo R, Amicosante M, Perrin L, Colizzi V, Perno CF; Benghazi Study Group. Molecular epidemiology: HIV-1 and HCV sequences from Libyan outbreak Nature,444(7121):836-7 (2006).

Printed and Online Media Coverage

University of Oxford - BluePrint News

New scientific evidence in Libya HIV death penalty caseUniversity of Oxford - BluePrint News - 2006-12-07 OXFORD - New molecular evidence from Oxford Zoology Department casts significant doubt on charges against six medical workers who are facing execution in Libya. The medical workers are charged with deliberately contaminating more than 400 children with HIV in 1998.However, new evidence published online in Nature from the Evolutionary Biology Group at Oxford, in collaboration with several European universities, shows that the subtype of HIV involved began infecting patients well before the medical workers arrived in Libya.


BBC

Study backs Libya HIV case medicsBBC - 2006-12-06 LONDON - Scientists have cast doubt on charges that five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor deliberately infected Libyan children with HIV. The medics could face the death penalty if found guilty by a court in Tripoli later this month.


Science

Genetic Analysis Clears Accused MedicsScience - 2006-12-20

A new molecular study provides the strongest scientific evidence yet that six foreign medics held in Libya are innocent of charges that they deliberately infected more than 400 children with HIV. Accumulated mutations in the virus genomes reveal that the outbreak began well before the medics arrived in the country. The Libyan supreme court is set to decide on 19 December whether to execute the medics. It is unclear whether the new study will influence its verdict.


New Scientist

New evidence in Libyan HIV trialNew Scientist - 2006-12-20

New and compelling scientific evidence has emerged in support of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor accused of deliberately spreading HIV to 426 Libyan children in 1998.


The Guardian

Medics face death while Libya uses HIV children as diplomatic pawnsThe Guardian - 2006-12-17

Alex Duval Smith The Observer, Sunday 17 December 2006 13.12 GMT - The death in Libya six weeks ago of nine-year-old Marwa Annouiji from Aids was much more than just another developing world statistic. In her short, life, dominated by illness, the frail child was a pawn in a high-level game of international relations. Marwa, from al-Bayda on the Mediterranean coast, was the 52nd Libyan child to die as a result, Libya claims, of a deliberate operation by foreign medical workers to pump HIV-infected blood into 426 girls and boys at the al-Fatah Hospital in Benghazi.


BBC

Libya sentences medics to deathBBC - 2006-12-19

A Libyan court has sentenced five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor to death for knowingly infecting hundreds of Libyan children with HIV.


Nature

Molecular HIV evidence backs accused medicsNature - 2006-12-06

International experts in DNA forensics say that a paper published online by Nature this week provides a firm alibi for the six medical workers facing the death penalty in Libya. The workers have been charged with deliberately infecting more than 400 children with HIV in 1998.


Nature

High noon in LibyaNature - 2007-07-19

This week sees yet another crisis point in the Libyan case of six foreign health professionals sentenced to death on charges of injecting hundreds of children with HIV. Declan Butler traces the efforts of scientists to help establish the truth.


AIDSmap

Drug Resistance Increasing in ChildrenAIDSmap - 2011-06-27

Indeed, drug resistance is emerging in children on ART in South Africa.


NY Times

New Evidence Disputes Libya Case in H.I.V. TrialNY Times - 2006-12-07

LONDON, Dec. 6 (Reuters) - Scientists have produced new evidence that casts doubt on charges against five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor accused by Libya of deliberately infecting 426 children with the virus that causes AIDS in 1998.