Detection, quantification and sequencing of HIV-1 from the plasma of seropositive individuals and from factor VIII concentrates.
Zhang LQ., Simmonds P., Ludlam CA., Brown AJ.
A highly sensitive and reliable RNA polymerase chain reaction method has been developed which has been used to detect, quantify and sequence cell-free HIV RNA directly from the plasma of seropositive individuals. Plasma from 10 out of 12 haemophiliacs tested was found to contain detectable levels of HIV-1 RNA [log mean value: 1.2 x 10(3) copies for Centers for Disease Control (CDC) group II patients, 5.5 x 10(3) copies for CDC group IV patients]. The presence of cell-free circulating virus in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals suggests that viral replication continues throughout the course of infection. The same procedure has been used to detect and sequence HIV-1 RNA in two batches of unheated commercial factor VIII concentrate distributed in 1981 and 1983. The sequences obtained revealed a closer relationship to North American than to African strains of HIV-1.