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Efficiency of HIV-1 PR-RT genotyping is not impacted by co-infection with HCV


Assays that are used for the diagnosis and management of HIV-1 infection are subject to assay interference(s) and co-infection with HCV may interfere with HIV-1 genotyping and/or phenotyping. Since a third of HIV-1 infected patients are frequently HCV co-infected, there is an increasing need to assess the effect of HCV co-infection on the accuracy of the HIV-1 protease (PR) and reverse transcriptase (RT) genotyping.

Purpose of the study

As a result, the efficiency and accuracy of Virco's HIV-1 PR-RT assay performance [1] was tested on a panel of HIV/HCV co-infected, clinical trial samples.

Materials and methods

A panel of confirmed 60 HIV/HCV-positive (Hep C antibody +), plasma samples (screening visit), that were collected as part of a HIV-1 clinical trial was PR-RT genotyped (virco®TYPE HIV 1; 1497 bp encoding 1-99 amino acids of PR and 1-400 amino acids of RT), phenotyped (Antivirogram®) and the Clade was determined. In addition, HCV subtyping was performed using NS5B sequence-based subtyping [2] along with NS3/4A genotyping [3] in all of the tested samples. All the 60 samples tested had externally determined plasma HIV viral loads that were >1000 copies/mL.


For the 60 HIV/HCV + samples tested, the HIV PR-RT target genes were successfully (100%) genotyped, phenotyped and were confirmed to be Clade B. Subtyping (329 bp conserved fragment within NS5B) and genotyping (NS3/4A gene) of the HCV target genes was successful for 49/60 samples (81.6%) and 33 samples were identified as Genotype 1a, 10 samples as 1b, 5 samples as 2b and 1 as genotype 4a.


We demonstrated that there is no assay interference for HIV-1 genotyping/phenotyping in the presence of an active HCV co-infection. The HIV-1 PR-RT primers used within our certified, high-throughput laboratory is highly sensitive, specific, accurate and reliable to detect HIV-1 clade, genotype and phenotype in HIV/HCV co-infected samples.


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  3. Dumont , et al: Poster number 319. 2009, EASL

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Deloof, A., De Wolf, H., Verlinden, Y. et al. Efficiency of HIV-1 PR-RT genotyping is not impacted by co-infection with HCV. JIAS 13 (Suppl 4), P212 (2010).

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