Recovery and analysis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) RNA sequences from plasma samples with low HIV RNA levels

Jordi Niubò, Wuyi Li, Keith Henry, Alejo Erice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Amplification of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) reverse transcriptase (RT) and protease (PT) sequences from plasma is difficult when HIV RNA levels are low, and it usually cannot be accomplished in samples with <1,000 HIV RNA copies/ml. Because the RNA extraction step is critical for the success of subsequent amplifications and sequence analyses, two RNA extraction methods were compared to study plasma samples with low HIV RNA levels. Forty-four plasma samples containing <500 HIV RNA copies/ml in a branched-DNA (bDNA) assay (Quantiplex HIV RNA assay version 2.0 [Chiron Corp., Emeryville, Calif.]) were studied. RNA was extracted by using two commercial kits (QIAamp Viral RNA kit [Qiagen, Hilden, Germany] and NucliSens kit [Organon Teknika, Boxtel, The Netherlands]). Fragments (1,144 bp) encompassing HIV PT and RT sequences were amplified by nested PCRs. Amplified products were sequenced by using a commercial kit (Applied Biosystems). HIV RNA was recovered from a total of 21 plasma samples, including 20 samples after extraction by the NucliSens method, and 8 samples after extraction by the QIAamp method (P < 0.05). Mean HIV RNA levels in these samples, measured by an ultrasensitive bDNA assay (Quantiplex HIV RNA assay version 3.0; Chiron Corp., Emeryville, Calif.), were 848 copies/ml (median, 666; range, 154 to 2,606 copies/ml). Analysis of RT and PT sequences in five samples demonstrated an average of 3.8 and 2.4 resistance mutations in these regions, respectively. The NucliSens RNA extraction kit is a valuable method for obtaining HIV RNA for genotypic studies from plasma fractions of individuals with low HIV RNA levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-312
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Volume38
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 24 2000

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