Effects of anticoagulant, processing delay, and assay method (branched DNA versus reverse transcriptase PCR) on measurement of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA levels in plasma

Lynn M. Kirstein, John W. Mellors, Charles R. Rinaldo, Joseph B. Margolick, Janis V. Giorgi, John P. Phair, Edith Dietz, Phalguni Gupta, Christopher H. Sherlock, Robert Hogg, J. S.G. Montaner, Alvaro Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We conducted two studies to determine the potential influence of delays in blood processing, type of anticoagulant, and assay method on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA levels in plasma. The first was an experimental study in which heparin- and EDTA-anticoagulated blood samples were collected from 101 HIV-positive individuals and processed to plasma after delays of 2, 6, and 18 h. HIV-1 RNA levels in each sample were then measured by both branched-DNA (bDNA) and reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assays. Compared to samples processed within 2 h, the loss (decay) of HIV-1 RNA in heparinized blood was significant (P < 0.05) but small after 6 h (bDNA assay, -0.12 log10 copies/ml; RT-PCR, -0.05 log10 copies/ml) and after 18 h (bDNA assay, -0.27 log10 copies/ml; RT-PCR, -0.15 log10 copies/ml). Decay in EDTA-anticoagulated blood was not significant after 6 h (bDNA assay, -0.002 log10 copies/ml; RT-PCR, -0.02 log10 copies/ml), but it was after 18 h (bDNA assay, -0.09 log10 copies/ml; RT-PCR, -0.09 log10 copies/ml). Only 4% of samples processed after 6 h lost more than 50% (≥0.3 log10 copies/ml) of the HIV-1 RNA, regardless of the anticoagulant or the assay that was used. The second study compared HIV-1 RNA levels in samples from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS; samples were collected in heparin- containing tubes in 1985, had a 6-h average processing delay, and were assayed by bDNA assay) and the British Columbia Drug Treatment Program (BCDTP) (collected in EDTA- or acid citrate dextrose-containing tubes in 1996 and 1997, had a 2-h maximum processing delay, and were assayed by RT-PCR). HIV-1 RNA levels in samples from the two cohorts were not significantly different after adjusting for CD4+-cell count and converting bDNA assay values to those corresponding to the RT-PCR results. In summary, the decay of HIV-1 RNA measured in heparinized blood after 6 h was small (-0.05 to -0.12 log10 copies/ml), and the minor impact of this decay on HIV-1 RNA concentrations in archived plasma samples of the MACS was confirmed by the similarity of CD4+-cell counts and assay-adjusted HIV-1 RNA concentrations in the MACS and BCDTP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2428-2433
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Volume37
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of anticoagulant, processing delay, and assay method (branched DNA versus reverse transcriptase PCR) on measurement of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA levels in plasma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this