Qualitative Human Immunodeficiency Virus RNA Analysis of Dried Blood Spots for Diagnosis of Infections in Infants

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 11-141 Lineberger Cancer Center, CB 7295, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
Journal of clinical microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.99). 12/2008; 47(1):220-2. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01521-08
Source: PubMed


The Gen-Probe Aptima human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA assay was adapted for the diagnosis of HIV infection in infants by using dried blood spots. The assay was 99% sensitive (128/129) and 100% specific (162/162). This may prove useful in resource-limited settings, since it precludes the need for a phlebotomist and maintenance of a cold chain.

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    • "Furthermore, Gottlieb (Gottlieb et al., 2002) and Kostrikis (Kostrikis et al., 2002) have shown that HIV DNA levels independently predict disease progression. Together, these data suggest that HIV-1 DNA (and/or HIV-1 RNA) measurements from DBS, already shown to be useful for diagnosis and drug resistance testing (Buckton et al., 2008; Cachafeiro et al., 2009; Ikomey et al., 2009; Kerr et al., 2009), should be further explored as a marker of disease progression-risk in situations where plasma VL assays are impractical because of cost and resource limitations. "
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    ABSTRACT: There remains a need for sensitive and cost-effective assays to monitor therapy in human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infection. However, the genetic diversity of HIV poses difficulties for traditional real-time PCR assays that require long oligonucleotides probes. LNA™ probes may be useful in overcoming these limits to traditional probe design. A new application of LNA™ chemistry in a Taqman assay applicable to a wide range of HIV-1 subtypes is described. This assay, based on a 13-mer LNA™ probe that matches the majority of HIV-1 sequences in the Los Alamos database, exhibited a wide dynamic range (10(1)-10(7) copies of HIV DNA), high sensitivity (limit of detection of 1 copy of HIV DNA in 10(5) cells), and broad applicability to a range of HIV-1 subtypes (including A, B, C, D, F, H, B/C, and A/E CRFs). Using the LNA™ probe assay, HIV-1 DNA was detected in all dried blood spots (DBS) from treatment naïve HIV-1 positive Ugandan children, and HIV DNA levels significantly correlated with viral RNA levels in plasma (r=0.765, p<0.0001). This approach to Taqman probe design should be explored further for use in diagnosis and monitoring of HIV in resource-limited settings, especially where several subtypes co-circulate.
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    ABSTRACT: The early diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in infants is critical to ensure the initiation of treatment before significant immunological compromise. Each year an estimated 300,000 HIV-exposed infants in South Africa require access to tests for the diagnosis of HIV infection. Currently, testing is performed at several facilities by using PCR amplification of HIV DNA at 6 weeks of age by the use of dried blood spots (DBSs) and whole blood (WB). The Gen-Probe Aptima HIV type 1 (HIV-1) screening assay (the Aptima assay) is a qualitative nucleic acid test based on transcription-mediated amplification (TMA), a technology routinely used in blood banks in South Africa. The performance characteristics of Gen-Probe's TMA technology compared well to those of the Roche Amplicor HIV-1 DNA (version 1.5) assay. The sensitivity of the assay with WB and DBS samples was 100%, and the specificities were 99.4% and 99.5% for DBSs and WB, respectively. The detection of HIV by the Aptima assay at greater levels of dilution in samples negative by the comparator assay indicates an improvement in sensitivity by the use of the TMA technology. The ability to process 1,900 samples in a 24-h period on the Tigris instrument makes the Aptima assay an attractive option for high-volume, centralized laboratories.
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