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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2012 Dec;28(12):1745-55. doi: 10.1089/AID.2012.0023. Epub 2012 Jul 3.

A gp41-based heteroduplex mobility assay provides rapid and accurate assessment of intrasubtype epidemiological linkage in HIV type 1 heterosexual transmission Pairs.

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1
Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group (RZHRG), Projet San Francisco (PSF), Kigali, Rwanda.

Abstract

A critical step in HIV-1 transmission studies is the rapid and accurate identification of epidemiologically linked transmission pairs. To date, this has been accomplished by comparison of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified nucleotide sequences from potential transmission pairs, which can be cost-prohibitive for use in resource-limited settings. Here we describe a rapid, cost-effective approach to determine transmission linkage based on the heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA), and validate this approach by comparison to nucleotide sequencing. A total of 102 HIV-1-infected Zambian and Rwandan couples, with known linkage, were analyzed by gp41-HMA. A 400-base pair fragment within the envelope gp41 region of the HIV proviral genome was PCR amplified and HMA was applied to both partners' amplicons separately (autologous) and as a mixture (heterologous). If the diversity between gp41 sequences was low (<5%), a homoduplex was observed upon gel electrophoresis and the transmission was characterized as having occurred between partners (linked). If a new heteroduplex formed, within the heterologous migration, the transmission was determined to be unlinked. Initial blind validation of gp-41 HMA demonstrated 90% concordance between HMA and sequencing with 100% concordance in the case of linked transmissions. Following validation, 25 newly infected partners in Kigali and 12 in Lusaka were evaluated prospectively using both HMA and nucleotide sequences. Concordant results were obtained in all but one case (97.3%). The gp41-HMA technique is a reliable and feasible tool to detect linked transmissions in the field. All identified unlinked results should be confirmed by sequence analyses.

PMID:
22587371
PMCID:
PMC3505061
DOI:
10.1089/AID.2012.0023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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