A DNA test to detect HIV in infants in resource-poor countries is a step closer, thanks to a technique to amplify DNA samples developed by US scientists.
Currently, there are no suitable methods to test for HIV in infants in resource-poor areas. The rapid anti-HIV antibody tests for adults can’t be used for early diagnosis in infants. This is because maternal anti-HIV antibodies persist in infant blood for 18 months after birth, even in HIV-negative infants, resulting in false positives.
Efforts to improve infant HIV tests include analysing DNA extracted from dried blood spot samples using the polymerase chain reaction to amplify the DNA, but this requires expensive equipment and trained technicians. It can also take four weeks to get a results, so for the many patients who aren’t able to return to the clinic, an instant result is more practical.
Now, Brittany Rohrman and Rebecca Richards-Kortum at Rice University, Houston, have made a paper and plastic-based device that can amplify 10 strands of HIV DNA to detectable levels in just 15 minutes using dried blood samples.
See the full article in Chemistry World
Or read the Lab on a Chip paper:
A paper and plastic device for performing recombinase polymerase amplification of HIV DNA
Brittany Rohrman and Rebecca Richards-Kortum
Lab Chip, 2012, DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40423K