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J Clin Microbiol. 2002 Oct;40(10):3805-9.

Rapid detection of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 subtype e infection by PCR.

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Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, No. 1 Chang-Te Street, Taipei, Taiwan 100, Republic of China.


The CRF01_AE (subtype E) strain of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), originally reported in Thailand, spread rapidly to and showed prevalence in several countries in Southeast Asia, including Taiwan. This strain was also found in other regions of the world. Based on sequence analysis of the vpu gene, a nested PCR assay including an outer primer pair and a subtype E-specific inner primer pair was developed in this study for rapid detection of subtype E viruses. It was tested with 397 HIV-1-positive samples of known subtypes. For these samples, the sensitivity of detection of subtype E viruses was 100% (127 of 127), and the specificity was 97.8% (264 of 270). Although six samples of either subtype A or G showed a positive PCR, most of the cross-reactivity could be reduced by raising the annealing temperature from 54 degrees C to 63 degrees C. When tested with 195 HIV-positive samples of unknown subtypes, the assay had a sensitivity of 98.0% and a specificity of 98.6%. This is a simple, convenient, and sensitive method for rapid detection of subtype E viruses, especially in regions in which viruses of subtypes B and E are predominant.

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