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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 284-287

Quantification of human immunodeficiency Virus -1 Viral load using nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) in North Central Nigeria

Virology Research Laboratory, Innovative Biotech-Abuja/Keffi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
J C Forbi
Virology Research Laboratory, Innovative Biotech-Abuja/Keffi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20857786

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Background: Viral load (VL) quantification is considered an integral part of the standard care in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected individuals but in Nigeria as in most of sub-Saharan Africa, this has not reached the majority of patients. Methods: We report the first field application of the NucliSens EasyQ HIV-1 platform for the real time quantification of HIV-1 VL combining NASBA amplification and real time detection with molecular beacons among HIV-1 infected individuals in north central Nigeria where the predominant HIV-1 subtypes are CRF02_AG and G. CD4 + counts were enumerated using a fluorescence-activated cell sorter system. Results: Of one hundred and forty nine (n=149) plasma sample from patients with mean age of 32 years and made up of 77 males and 72 females, fifty {n = 50 (37.9%); 28 males and 22 females}had VLs below the lower detection limit (LDL=25 IU/ml) set by the assay while eighty- two {n = 82 (62.1%); 39 males and 43 females}had VL levels above the LDL. Furthermore, 13 of 82 (15.9%) patients with viral loads above the LDL had VLs between 26-1000 IU/ml while 69 (84.1%) had VLs of 1001-2400000 IU/ml. 17 (11.4%) of the samples could not be analyzed due to poor viral amplification. Among individuals with both CD4 + and VL results (n=56), those with CD4 + of 1-418 cell/μl presented with higher VL usually above 45,000 IU/ml when compared with those with CD4 + of over 500 cell/μl. Conclusion: Our findings highlight the pattern, usefulness and feasibility of VL quantification by NucliSens EasyQ in monitoring HIV-1 patients in Nigeria.

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