Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mobile DNA test for HIV under development

Date:
June 5, 2014
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Bioengineers are developing an efficient test to detect signs of HIV and its progress in patients in low-resource settings. The current gold standard to diagnose HIV in infants and to monitor viral load depends on lab equipment and technical expertise generally available only in clinics. The new research features a nucleic acid-based test that can be performed at the site of care.

Rice graduate students Zachary Crannell, left, and Brittany Rohrman are leading Rice University bioengineers in an effort to develop an efficient test to detect signs of HIV and its progress in patients in low-resource settings.
Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

Rice University bioengineers are developing a simple, highly accurate test to detect signs of HIV and its progress in patients in resource-poor settings.

The current gold standard to diagnose HIV in infants and to monitor viral load depends on lab equipment and technical expertise generally available only in clinics, said Rice bioengineer Rebecca Richards-Kortum. The new research features a nucleic acid-based test that can be performed at the site of care.

Richards-Kortum, director of the Rice 360˚: Institute for Global Health Technologies, and her colleagues reported their results in the American Chemical Society journal Analytical Chemistry.

The proof-of-concept work by co-lead authors Zachary Crannell and Brittany Rohrman, both graduate students in the Richards-Kortum lab, follows their similar technique to detect the parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis, reported earlier this year.

The new technique would replace a complex lab procedure based on polymerase chain reaction with one that relies on recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA), a method to quickly amplify -- that is, multiply -- genetic markers found in blood to levels where they can be easily counted. In a test the team calls qRPA, a specific sequence in HIV DNA is targeted and tagged with fluorescent probes that can be seen and quantified by a portable machine. Software analysis of the fluorescing DNA allows clinicians to determine with great accuracy whether the virus is present in a patient's blood and/or how much is there.

The researchers calibrated the test by also amplifying an internal positive control not found in human blood. "It's amplified by the same primers as the HIV sequence, so it tells us that the assay is working properly," Rohrman said.

The students originally intended their work to look for HIV in infants, but the technique can also help to track viral loads in older patients. "It's important for clinicians to be able to quantitatively monitor patients' viral loads in order to ensure the disease is responding to therapy," Crannell said.

To be clinically viable, a DNA-based test for HIV has to be able to quantify virus loads over four orders of magnitude, from very low to very high, the researchers said. They reported the Rice test easily meets that goal.

They are developing tools for low-resource settings where high-tech lab equipment is not available. Although they used a thermal cycler, the researchers are working on a technique that will keep the entire procedure between room and body temperatures so that it can be performed at the point of care in the developing world.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zachary Austin Crannell, Brittany Rohrman, Rebecca Richards-Kortum. Quantification of HIV-1 DNA Using Real-Time Recombinase Polymerase Amplification. Analytical Chemistry, 2014; 140529102630009 DOI: 10.1021/ac5011298

Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Mobile DNA test for HIV under development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605155734.htm>.
Rice University. (2014, June 5). Mobile DNA test for HIV under development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605155734.htm
Rice University. "Mobile DNA test for HIV under development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605155734.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins