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J Virol Methods. 2007 Jun;142(1-2):127-35. Epub 2007 Feb 26.

A novel internally controlled real-time reverse transcription-PCR assay for HIV-1 RNA targeting the pol integrase genomic region.

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Institute of Experimental Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University, Sigmund-Freud-Strasse 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany.


Given the worldwide increasing spread of HIV-1 genetic variants, it is mandatory that assays used for nucleic acid testing for HIV-1 detect all existing groups and subtypes of HIV-1. In this report the development and evaluation of a quantitative real-time HIV-1 RT-PCR assay that targets a conserved region within the pol integrase domain is described. As an internal control reaction, endogenous glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate-dehydrogenase transcripts were detected in a multiplex configuration. The detection limit (95% cut-off value) was determined by probit analysis and calculated as 281 IU/ml of HIV-1 RNA. Within-run and between-run coefficients of variation were below 15 and 27%, respectively, indicating high reproducibility. The described assay detected all tested HIV-1 isolates representing groups M, O and N. Within group M, quantitative test results correlated well with viral loads as determined by the automated Abbott RealTime HIV-1 assay. Based on the testing of 1206 confirmed HIV-1 RNA negative blood donor samples, assay specificity was found to be 100%. The rate of inhibition was 0.37%. The described HIV-1 real-time RT-PCR was validated according to regulatory guidelines and is applicable to the screening of blood donors as well as the determination of HIV-1 viral load.

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