Brown University team develops fast, accurate HIV mutation test

New approach for fast, accurate HIV mutation test
New approach for fast, accurate HIV mutation test | Courtesy of
Scientists from Brown University recently created a new approach for detecting mutations of single nucleotides within the RNA of HIV, such as the mutations that make HIV resistant to certain drugs.

According to the lab tests, this single-stop system has shown more accurate and more rapid results than the traditional technologies. The new method doesn’t need any transcription from RNA to DNA, like traditional methods, and uses only one solution to find its results.

Tests that detect drug-resistant HIV strains and non-resistant HIV strains ensure that patients receive the most-effective treatment more quickly.

"LRA (ligation on RNA amplification) uniquely optimizes two enzymatic reactions -- RNA-based ligation, and quantitative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification -- into a single system," Anubhav Tripathi, professor of engineering at Brown and corresponding author on the paper, said. "Each HIV contains about 10,000 nucleotides, or building blocks, in its genetic material, and a drop of blood from a patient with resistant HIV can contain thousands to millions of copies of HIV. To find that one virus, out of thousands to millions, which is mutated at just a single nucleotide is like finding a needle in a haystack."

Further details are available in the November issue of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

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