METHODS: The performance of the point-of-care Xpert HIV-1 viral load assay was evaluated against the Abbott RealTime PCR m2000rt system. A total of 96 plasma specimens ranging from 2.5 log10 copies ml-1 to 4.99 log10 copies ml-1 and proficiency testing panel specimens were used. Precision and accuracy were checked using the Pearson correlation co-efficient test and Bland-Altman analysis.
RESULTS: Compared to the Abbott RealTime PCR, the Xpert HIV-1 viral load assay showed a good correlation (Pearson r=0.81; P<0.0001) with a mean difference of 0.27 log10 copies ml-1 (95 % CI, -0.41 to 0.96 log10 copies ml-1; sd, 0.35 log10 copies ml-1).
CONCLUSION: Reliable and ease of testing individual specimens could make the Xpert HIV-1 viral load assay an efficient alternative method for ART monitoring in clinical management of HIV disease in resource-limited settings. The rapid test results (less than 2 h) could help in making an immediate clinical decision, which further strengthens patient care.
METHODOLOGY: A pair of degenerate primers (Aero F: 5'-YGARATCGAYATCGCCAARCGB-3' and Aero R: 5'-GRCCDATGCTCATRCGRCGGTT-3') was designed that amplified the rpoD gene of 27 Aeromonas species. Subsequently, in silico analysis enabled the differentiation of 25 species using the single restriction endonuclease AluI, while 2 species, A. sanarelli and A. taiwanensis, required an additional restriction endonuclease, HpyCH4IV. Twelve type strains (A. hydrophila ATCC7966T, A. caviae ATCC15468T, A. veronii ATCC9071T, A. media DSM4881T, A. allosaccharophila DSM11576T, A. dhakensis DSM17689T, A. enteropelogens DSM7312T, A. jandaei DSM7311T, A. rivuli DSM22539T, A. salmonicida ATCC33658T, A. taiwanensis DSM24096T and A. sanarelli DSM24094T) were randomly selected from the 27 Aeromonas species for experimental validation.Results/key findings. The twelve type strains demonstrated distinctive RFLP patterns and supported the in silico digestion. Subsequently, 60 clinical and environmental strains from our collection, comprising nine Aeromonas species, were used for screening examinations, and the results were in agreement.
CONCLUSION: This method provides an alternative method for laboratory identification, surveillance and epidemiological investigations of clinical and environmental specimens.