Field Study of Dried Blood Spot Specimens for HIV-1 Drug Resistance Genotyping

Journal of Clinical Microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.99). 05/2014; 52(8). DOI: 10.1128/JCM.00544-14
Source: PubMed


Dried blood spots (DBS) are an alternative specimen type for HIV drug resistance genotyping in resource-limited settings. Data relating to the impact of DBS storage and shipment conditions on genotyping efficiency under field conditions are limited. We compared genotyping efficiency and resistance profiles of DBS stored and shipped at different temperatures to plasma specimens collected in parallel from patients receiving antiretroviral therapy in Uganda. Plasma and four DBS cards from anti-coagulated venous blood, and a 5th card from finger-prick blood were prepared from 103 HIV-patients with a median VL of 56,795 copies/ml (range 1,081 - 2,964,191). DBS were stored at ambient temperature for 2 or 4 weeks or frozen at -80°C, and shipped from Uganda to the United States, at ambient temperature or frozen on dry ice, for genotyping using a broadly sensitive in-house method. Plasma (97.1%) and DBS (98.1%) stored and shipped frozen had similar genotyping efficiency. DBS stored frozen (97.1%) or at ambient temperature for 2 weeks (93.2%) and shipped at ambient temperature also had similar genotyping efficiency. Genotyping efficiency was reduced for DBS stored at ambient temperature for 4 weeks (89.3%, P=0.03) or prepared from finger-prick blood and stored at ambient temperature for 2 weeks (77.7%, P<0.001) compared to DBS prepared from venous blood and handled similarly. Resistance profiles were similar between plasma and DBS specimens. This study delineates the optimal DBS collection, storage and shipping conditions and opens a new avenue for cost-saving ambient temperature DBS specimen shipments for HIVDR surveillances in resource-limited settings.

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    ABSTRACT: Access to antiretroviral treatment (ART) becomes more and more effective in resource-limited settings (RLS). However, this global effort would be even more profitable if the access to laboratory services especially in decentralized settings was strengthened. We report the virological outcome and HIV-1 drug resistance in three West African countries using dried blood spots (DBS) samples. We included HIV-1-infected adults on ART ≥6 months and followed up in capital cities and decentralized sites in Senegal, Mali and Guinea-Conakry. Patients were consecutively enrolled and DBS were collected in field conditions and kept at ambient temperature before transfer to the reference laboratory. Viral load (VL) was quantified using the NucliSENS EasyQ HIV-1 v1.2. Genotyping of HIV-1 pol gene was performed using in-house protocol. Of the 407 participants, 119, 152 and 136 were from Senegal, Mali and Guinea-Conakry, respectively. The median treatment duration was 36 months [IQR: 6-136]. Virological failure (VF) (VL≥3log10 copies/mL) was observed in 26% (95% confidence interval (CI), 18-35; n=31), 11% (95% CI, 6-17; n=16) and 24% (95% CI, 17-32; n=33) of patients in Senegal, Mali and Guinea-Conakry, respectively (p=0.001). Of samples presenting VL≥3log10 copies/mL (n=80), 70 were successfully genotyped. At least one drug resistance mutation (DRM) was detected in the following proportions: 70% (95% CI, 50-86; n=19), 93% (95% CI, 68-100; n=14) and 68% (95% CI, 48-84; n=19) in Senegal, Mali and Guinea-Conakry, respectively (p=0.22). Twenty-six per cent (26%; 95% CI, 16-38; n=18) of patients in VF harboured wild-type viruses, which is likely indicative of weak adherence. Phylogenetic analysis showed the predominance of CRF02_AG subtype (73%; 95% CI, 61-83; n=51). We describe the ART outcome in capital and rural settings of Senegal, Mali and Guinea-Conakry. Our results in all of the three countries highlight the need to reinforce the ART adherence in order to minimize the occurrence of drug resistance. In addition, these findings provide additional evidence that the use of DBS as a sampling support could assist virological monitoring of patients on ART in remote areas.
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