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Am J Clin Pathol. 2004 Jul;122(1):20-7.

Lowering the detection limits of HIV-1 viral load using real-time immuno-PCR for HIV-1 p24 antigen.

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Pathology Department, University of Maryland, Baltimore 21201, USA.


Presently, the assay that attains maximal sensitivity and dynamic range of HIV-1 viral copy number (50 copies per milliliter) is nucleic acid amplification of HIV RNA in plasma. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods for quantification of HIV-1 p24 antigen have been relatively insensitive. In this report, we show data that indicate real-time immuno-polymerase chain reaction (IPCR), a combination of the ELISA and PCR techniques, is more sensitive for HIV-1 p24 antigen detection than other currently reported methods. When derived from an IPCR standard curve, a dose response was observed from patient samples with known viral loads diluted within a 3-log range (1.68-6,514 viral RNA copies per milliliter). IPCR detected 42% (22/52) of patient samples that had fewer than 50 viral RNA copies per milliliter by reverse transcriptase-PCR. IPCR shows the potential to become the most analytically sensitive test available for determination of HIV-1 viral load by the detection of HIV-1 p24 antigen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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