We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress hp
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App

New Lab Test Detects Persistent HIV Strains in Africa

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 03 Jul 2024
Print article
Image: HIV particles, tiny yellow spheres, are attacking a CD4+ T cell shown in blue (Photo courtesy of Seth Pincus, Elizabeth Fischer and Austin Athman/NIH)
Image: HIV particles, tiny yellow spheres, are attacking a CD4+ T cell shown in blue (Photo courtesy of Seth Pincus, Elizabeth Fischer and Austin Athman/NIH)

Most research on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has concentrated on the virus variants prevalent in Western nations, primarily impacting men who have sex with men, with a focus on subtype B. However, less attention has been given to the variants in Africa, where the virus significantly affects women. To develop a universally effective cure, it's crucial to investigate viral variants not only in developed regions but across different global demographics. Researchers have now developed a test to measure HIV persistence in individuals predominantly affected by African viral strains—a critical step towards finding a cure that can aid patients globally. This research, published in Nature Communications on July 2, addresses a significant shortfall in HIV research.

The findings of the study by a multinational team led by investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine (New York, NY, USA)—similar to findings in the developed world—revealed that African HIV strains form viral reservoirs in the human body. Despite antiretroviral therapy reducing the virus in the bloodstream to nearly undetectable levels, these dormant reservoirs remain intact. They mostly consist of defective proviral DNA genomes incapable of producing new viruses. However, a small number of these proviruses are genetically intact and can produce active viruses if antiretroviral therapy is halted. This high proportion of defective genomes complicates efforts to precisely identify the intact proviruses.

For their study, the team examined DNA from immune cells known as CD4+ T cells, which serve as hiding spots for viral DNA, from 16 women and 7 men undergoing antiretroviral treatment in Uganda. Genetic analysis identified two primary HIV-1 subtypes, A1 and D, the latter known for its aggressive nature, alongside hybrid variants of A1 and D. They adapted existing lab tests, initially designed to detect HIV subtype B, to also identify proviruses of subtypes A1 and D. This innovative test will assist researchers in focusing on the intact proviral genomes that are crucial for curing HIV in patients infected with these less examined strains.

The team, comprising international, multi-institutional researchers, is utilizing this new test to study long-term viral persistence in Uganda. Their findings indicate that the composition of the HIV proviral genomic landscape is broadly comparable between subtypes A1, D, and B. This suggests that finding effective targets within HIV reservoirs in Africa presents similar challenges to those found in North America and Europe. Future research will need to consider how factors specific to non-B subtypes might influence the persistence, reactivation, or clearance of the virus in these reservoirs.

“We are looking for a needle in a haystack: To achieve an HIV cure, we need to first find out whether any genome-intact proviruses remain in the body during antiretroviral treatment. Our new assay allows us to do this. Then we need to target and eliminate the intact DNA capable of producing new viruses,” said lead author Dr. Guinevere Lee, assistant professor of virology in medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Related Links:
Weill Cornell Medicine

Platinum Member
Flu SARS-CoV-2 Combo Test
OSOM® Flu SARS-CoV-2 Combo Test
Magnetic Bead Separation Modules
Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Test
GPP-100 Anti-CCP Kit
Gold Member
All-in-one Molecular Diagnosis System
Panall 8000

Print article


Clinical Chemistry

view channel
Image: The new DxC 500i Clinical Analyzer is an integrated clinical chemistry and immunoassay analyzer (Photo courtesy of Beckman Coulter Diagnostics)

Integrated Chemistry and Immunoassay Analyzer with Extensive Assay Menu Offers Flexibility, Scalability and Data Commutability

As global healthcare systems increasingly shift towards networked laboratory operational models to enhance efficiency and patient access, there is a greater need for innovative solutions tailored to the... Read more


view channel
Image: The Truvian diagnostic platform combines clinical chemistry, immunoassay and hematology testing in a single run (Photo courtesy of Truvian Health)

Automated Benchtop System to Bring Blood Testing To Anyone, Anywhere

Almost all medical decisions are dependent upon laboratory test results, which are essential for disease prevention and the management of chronic illnesses. However, routine blood testing remains limited worldwide.... Read more


view channel
Image: The Simplexa C. auris direct kit is a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay run on the LIAISON MDX instrument (Photo courtesy of Diasorin)

Novel Molecular Test to Help Prevent and Control Multi Drug-Resistant Fungal Pathogen in Healthcare Settings

Candida auris (C. auris) is a rapidly emerging multi drug-resistant fungal pathogen that is commonly found in healthcare environments, where it presents a challenge due to its ability to asymptomatically... Read more


view channel
Image: Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella Typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells (Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH)

AI Identifies Drug-Resistant Typhoid-Like Infection from Microscopy Images within Hours

Antimicrobial resistance is becoming a serious global health concern, making many infections increasingly difficult to treat and limiting available treatment options. This escalation in resistance raises... Read more


view channel
Image: Beckman Coulter will utilize the ALZpath pTau217 antibody to detect key biomarker for Alzheimer\'s disease on its DxI 9000 immunoassay analyzer (Photo courtesy of Beckman Coulter)

Beckman Coulter Licenses Alzpath's Proprietary P-tau 217 Antibody to Develop Alzheimer's Blood Test

Cognitive assessments have traditionally been the primary method for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, but this approach has its limitations as symptoms become apparent only after significant brain changes... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.