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1.  Failure to Identify HIV-Infected Individuals in a Clinical Trial Using a Single HIV Rapid Test for Screening 
HIV clinical trials  2014;15(2):62-68.
In the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 061 study, 8 (2.3%) of 348 HIV-infected participants identified as HIV uninfected at study enrollment using a single HIV rapid test for screening were found to be HIV infected after additional testing.
To evaluate the performance of different HIV assays for detection of HIV infection in HPTN 061 participants with missed infection and individuals with viral suppression.
Plasma samples from 8 HPTN 061 participants, 17 elite controllers, and 101 individuals on antiretroviral treatment (ART) were tested for HIV with 3 rapid tests, 2 laboratory-based immunoassays, and a Western blot assay. The HPTN 061 samples were also tested with 2 HIV RNA assays and an antiretroviral drug assay.
Of the 8 HPTN 061 participants with missed infection, 1 was an elite controller, 1 was taking ART, 2 were missed because of testing or clerical errors, 1 had recent HIV infection (identified using a multi-assay algorithm), and 3 had acute HIV infection. Two (1.7%) of 118 individuals with viral suppression (both taking ART) had at least 1 false-negative test.
In clinical trials, HIV infections can be missed for a variety of reasons. Using more than one assay to screen for HIV infection may reduce the number of missed infections.
PMCID: PMC4167641  PMID: 24710920
antiretroviral therapy; elite controller; HIV; rapid test; viral suppression
2.  Estimation of HIV Incidence in a Large, Community-Based, Randomized Clinical Trial: NIMH Project Accept (HIV Prevention Trials Network 043) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68349.
National Institute of Mental Health Project Accept (HIV Prevention Trials Network [HPTN] 043) is a large, Phase III, community-randomized, HIV prevention trial conducted in 48 matched communities in Africa and Thailand. The study intervention included enhanced community-based voluntary counseling and testing. The primary endpoint was HIV incidence, assessed in a single, cross-sectional, post-intervention survey of >50,000 participants.
HIV rapid tests were performed in-country. HIV status was confirmed at a central laboratory in the United States. HIV incidence was estimated using a multi-assay algorithm (MAA) that included the BED capture immunoassay, an avidity assay, CD4 cell count, and HIV viral load.
Data from Thailand was not used in the endpoint analysis because HIV prevalence was low. Overall, 7,361 HIV infections were identified (4 acute, 3 early, and 7,354 established infections). Samples from established infections were analyzed using the MAA; 467 MAA positive samples were identified; 29 of those samples were excluded because they contained antiretroviral drugs. HIV prevalence was 16.5% (range at study sites: 5.93% to 30.8%). HIV incidence was 1.60% (range at study sites: 0.78% to 3.90%).
In this community-randomized trial, a MAA was used to estimate HIV incidence in a single, cross-sectional post-intervention survey. Results from this analysis were subsequently used to compare HIV incidence in the control and intervention communities.
Trial Registration NCT00203749
PMCID: PMC3708944  PMID: 23874597
3.  Performance of the Abbott RealTime HIV-1 Viral Load Assay Is Not Impacted by Integrase Inhibitor Resistance-Associated Mutations▿ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(4):1631-1634.
The Abbott RealTime HIV-1 viral load assay uses primers and probes targeted to integrase, which is also the target of integrase inhibitors such as raltegravir. Viral loads of 42 raltegravir-susceptible and 40 raltegravir-resistant specimens were determined using RealTime HIV-1 and Roche Monitor (v1.5). The differences in viral load measurements between assays were comparable in the two groups, demonstrating that the RealTime HIV-1 assay can tolerate raltegravir-selected mutations.
PMCID: PMC3122809  PMID: 21289145
5.  Characterization of antibodies elicited by XMRV infection and development of immunoassays useful for epidemiologic studies 
Retrovirology  2010;7:68.
Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-related Virus (XMRV) is a human gammaretrovirus recently identified in prostate cancer tissue and in lymphocytes of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. To establish the etiologic role of XMRV infection in human disease requires large scale epidemiologic studies. Development of assays to detect XMRV-specific antibodies would greatly facilitate such studies. However, the nature and kinetics of the antibody response to XMRV infection have yet to be determined.
Three rhesus macaques were infected with XMRV to determine the dynamics of the antibody responses elicited by infection with XMRV. All macaques developed antibodies to XMRV during the second week of infection, and the predominant responses were to the envelope protein gp70, transmembrane protein p15E, and capsid protein p30. In general, antibody responses to gp70 and p15E appeared early with higher titers than to p30, especially in the early period of seroconversion. Antibodies to gp70, p15E and p30 persisted to 158 days and were substantially boosted by re-infection, thus, were identified as useful serologic markers. Three high-throughput prototype assays were developed using recombinant proteins to detect antibodies to these viral proteins. Both gp70 and p15E prototype assays demonstrated 100% sensitivity by detecting all Western blot (WB) positive serial bleeds from the XMRV-infected macaques and good specificity (99.5-99.9%) with blood donors. Seroconversion sensitivity and specificity of the p30 prototype assay were 92% and 99.4% respectively.
This study provides the first demonstration of seroconversion patterns elicited by XMRV infection. The nature and kinetics of antibody responses to XMRV in primates were fully characterized. Moreover, key serologic markers useful for detection of XMRV infection were identified. Three prototype immunoassays were developed to detect XMRV-specific antibodies. These assays demonstrated good sensitivity and specificity; thus, they will facilitate large scale epidemiologic studies of XMRV infection in humans.
PMCID: PMC2931451  PMID: 20716359
6.  Analysis of pol Integrase Sequences in Diverse HIV Type 1 Strains Using a Prototype Genotyping Assay 
A prototype assay was used to genotype integrase (IN) from 120 HIV-1- infected IN inhibitor-naive adults from Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, South Africa, Thailand, and Uganda. Subtype designations based on analysis of pol IN sequences were A (14), B (15), C (12), D (11), F (12), G (7), H (1), CRF01_AE (9), CRF02_AG (34), CRF22_01A1 (4), and CRF37_cpx (1). Ten (8.3%) of 120 samples had mutations associated with reduced susceptibility to the IN inhibitors, raltegravir and elvitegravir. Two samples had E92Q (both subtype B) and eight had E157Q (2A, 1C, 1D, 1F, 3 CRF02_AG). Some samples had other mutations selected by these drugs including T97A, and some had amino acid polymorphisms at positions associated with raltegravir and elvitegravir resistance. Mutations associated with other investigational HIV IN inhibitors were also identified. This suggests that HIV strains may vary in their natural susceptibility to HIV IN inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC2853838  PMID: 19327053
7.  Thermodynamically modulated partially double-stranded linear DNA probe design for homogeneous real-time PCR 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(16):e101.
Real-time PCR assays have recently been developed for diagnostic and research purposes. Signal generation in real-time PCR is achieved with probe designs that usually depend on exonuclease activity of DNA polymerase (e.g. TaqMan probe) or oligonucleotide hybridization (e.g. molecular beacon). Probe design often needs to be specifically tailored either to tolerate or to differentiate between sequence variations. The conventional probe technologies offer limited flexibility to meet these diverse requirements. Here, we introduce a novel partially double-stranded linear DNA probe design. It consists of a hybridization probe 5′-labeled with a fluorophore and a shorter quencher oligo of complementary sequence 3′-labeled with a quencher. Fluorescent signal is generated when the hybridization probe preferentially binds to amplified targets during PCR. This novel class of probe can be thermodynamically modulated by adjusting (i) the length of hybridization probe, (ii) the length of quencher oligo, (iii) the molar ratio between the two strands and (iv) signal detection temperature. As a result, pre-amplification signal, signal gain and the extent of mismatch discrimination can be reliably controlled and optimized. The applicability of this design strategy was demonstrated in the Abbott RealTime HIV-1 assay.
PMCID: PMC2018630  PMID: 17693434
8.  Impact of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) Genetic Diversity on Performance of Four Commercial Viral Load Assays: LCx HIV RNA Quantitative, AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR v1.5, VERSANT HIV-1 RNA 3.0, and NucliSens HIV-1 QT 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(8):3860-3868.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) evolution and changing strain distribution present a challenge to nucleic acid-based assays. Reliable patient monitoring of viral loads requires the detection and accurate quantification of genetically diverse HIV-1. A panel of 97 HIV-1-seropositive plasma samples collected from Cameroon, Brazil, and South Africa was used to compare the performance of four commercially available HIV RNA quantitative tests: Abbott LCx HIV RNA Quantitative assay (LCx), Bayer Versant HIV-1 RNA 3.0 (bDNA), Roche AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR v1.5 (Monitor v1.5), and bioMérieux NucliSens HIV-1 QT (NucliSens). The panel included group M, group O, and recombinant viruses based on sequence analysis of gag p24, pol integrase, and env gp41. The LCx HIV assay quantified viral RNA in 97 (100%) of the samples. In comparison, bDNA, Monitor v1.5, and NucliSens quantified viral RNA in 96.9%, 94.8%, and 88.6% of the samples, respectively. The two group O specimens were quantified only by the LCx HIV assay. Analysis of nucleotide mismatches at the primer/probe binding sites for Monitor v1.5, NucliSens, and LCx assays revealed that performance characteristics reflected differences in the level of genetic conservation within the target regions.
PMCID: PMC1233972  PMID: 16081923
9.  Performance of the Celera Diagnostics ViroSeq HIV-1 Genotyping System for Sequence-Based Analysis of Diverse Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Strains 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(6):2711-2717.
The Celera Diagnostics ViroSeq HIV-1 Genotyping System is a Food and Drug Administration-cleared, integrated system for sequence-based analysis of drug resistance mutations in subtype B human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease and reverse transcriptase (RT). We evaluated the performance of this system for the analysis of diverse HIV-1 strains. Plasma samples were obtained from 126 individuals from Uganda, Cameroon, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, and Thailand with viral loads ranging from 2.92 to >6.0 log10 copies/ml. HIV-1 genotyping was performed with the ViroSeq system. HIV-1 subtyping was performed by using phylogenetic methods. PCR products suitable for sequencing were obtained for 125 (99%) of the 126 samples. Genotypes including protease (amino acids 1 to 99) and RT (amino acids 1 to 321) were obtained for 124 (98%) of the samples. Full bidirectional sequence data were obtained for 95 of those samples. The sequences were categorized into the following subtypes: A1/A2 (16 samples), B (12 samples), C (13 samples), D (11 samples), CRF01_AE (9 samples), F/F2 (9 samples), G (7 samples), CRF02_AG (32 samples), H (1 sample), and intersubtype recombinant (14 samples). The performances of the individual sequencing primers were examined. Genotyping of duplicate samples in a second laboratory was successful for 124 of the 126 samples. The identity level for the sequence data from two laboratories ranged from 98 to 100% (median, 99.8%). The ViroSeq system performs well for the analysis of plasma samples with diverse non-B subtypes. The availability of this genotyping system should facilitate studies of HIV-1 drug resistance in non-subtype B strains of HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC427844  PMID: 15184457
10.  Comparative Performance of Three Viral Load Assays on Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) Isolates Representing Group M (Subtypes A to G) and Group O: LCx HIV RNA Quantitative, AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR Version 1.5, and Quantiplex HIV-1 RNA Version 3.0 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(3):862-870.
The performance of the LCx HIV RNA Quantitative (LCx HIV), AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR version 1.5 (MONITOR v1.5), and Quantiplex HIV-1 RNA version 3.0 (bDNA v3.0) viral load assays was evaluated with 39 viral isolates (3 A, 7 B, 6 C, 4 D, 8 E, 4 F, 1 G, 4 mosaic, and 2 group O). Quantitation across the assay dynamic ranges was assessed using serial fivefold dilutions of the viruses. In addition, sequences of gag-encoded p24 (gag p24), pol-encoded integrase, and env-encoded gp41 were analyzed to assign group and subtype and to assess nucleotide mismatches at primer and probe binding sites. For group M isolates, quantification was highly correlated among all three assays. In contrast, only the LCx HIV assay reliably quantified group O isolates. The bDNA v3.0 assay detected but consistently underquantified group O viruses, whereas the MONITOR v1.5 test failed to detect group O viruses. Analysis of target regions revealed fewer primer or probe mismatches in the LCx HIV assay than in the MONITOR v1.5 test. Consistent with the high level of nucleotide conservation is the ability of the LCx HIV assay to quantify efficiently human immunodeficiency virus type 1 group M and the genetically diverse group O.
PMCID: PMC87842  PMID: 11230396

Results 1-10 (10)