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J Clin Virol. 2012 Oct;55(2):101-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2012.06.010. Epub 2012 Jul 7.

Evaluation of blood collection filter papers for HIV-1 DNA PCR.

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  • 1International Laboratory Branch, Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA.



The collection of dried blood spots (DBS) on Whatman 903 cards has facilitated for years the detection of HIV-1 in infants by DNA PCR as early as 4-6 weeks after birth in resource-limited settings (RLS), but alternate blood collection devices are proving to be necessary.


The qualitative detection of HIV-1 DNA by PCR from DBS prepared on three commercially available blood collection cards was evaluated at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in four laboratories in Africa.


DBS were prepared on Ahlstrom grade 226, Munktell TFN and Whatman 903, and stored under a variety of conditions. DBS were stored at ambient temperature (RT), 37°C with high humidity, and -20°C for varying lengths of time. The presence of HIV-1 DNA was tested using Roche Amplicor HIV-1 DNA (v 1.5) weekly for 4 weeks and at weeks 8 and 12 (RT and 37°C), at weeks 4, 8, and 18 (-20°C) of storage. DBS specimens were also tested after international shipment at RT. In addition, after nearly 3 years storage at -20°C, DBS were also evaluated independently using the COBAS Ampliprep/TaqMan HIV-1 Qual and Abbott RealTime HIV-1 Qualitative tests.


HIV-1 DNA was detected equally well on the three blood collection cards regardless of storage conditions and PCR assay.


Ahlstrom 226 and Munktell TFN papers were comparable to Whatman 903 for HIV-1 DNA detection and may be considered as optional blood collection devices in resource-limited countries.

Published by Elsevier B.V.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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