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J Virol Methods. 2007 Mar;140(1-2):222-7. Epub 2006 Dec 12.

Examination of real-time PCR for HIV-1 RNA and DNA quantitation in patients infected with HIV-1 BF intersubtype recombinant variants.

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  • 1National Reference Center for AIDS, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Paraguay 2155 Piso 11, C1121ABG, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The impact of HIV-1 genetic diversity on the performance of laboratory testing is an issue that has to be monitored continuously. An "in-house" real-time PCR assay was developed by the Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le SIDA (ANRS) in France for viral load (VL) quantitation based on the amplification of the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) region. This technology has not been used in Argentina yet and considering the HIV-1 diversity in the country, a comparative analysis of this assay was undertaken versus the Versant HIV-1 RNA 3.0 Assay (b-DNA). The performance was assessed on 30 drug-naïve HIV-1 infected patients who were characterized previously by phylogenetic analysis of the pol and vpu gene. The results showed that there is a significant linear correlation between values of transformed viral load logarithms measured by both, bDNA and real-time PCR assay and that this assay can be used to quantify viral load in samples from BF-infected patients with the same accuracy and reliability as for B subtype samples. The use of "in-house" real-time PCR to measure DNA in PBMCs correlated strongly with the HIV-1 RNA levels in all specimens.

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