A multiplex real-time PCR for quantification of HIV-1 DNA and the human albumin gene in CD4+ cells

APMIS. 2003 Jun;111(6):625-33. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0463.2003.1110605.x.


We have established a simple system for measuring HIV-1 DNA load in CD4+ cells. In a multiplex configuration, a conserved region in the HIV-1 pol gene and a section of the human albumin gene were simultaneously amplified to estimate the number of HIV-1 DNA copies per cellular genome. An established Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) standard system was used to calibrate the HIV-1 quantification. Our multiplex PCR system was tested on different in vitro developed HIV-1 strains and on longitudinal samples from eight patients. The system was able to amplify both in vitro and in vivo samples of various genetic compositions. In all eight patients, HIV-1 DNA was detected and ranged between 0.17 and 51x10-3 copies per CD4+ cell and could be monitored longitudinally, including long-term PI-ART and STI. The measured HIV-1 DNA load may be used to select the best time for the institution or re-institution of therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Genes, pol / genetics
  • HIV Infections / blood
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / virology*
  • HIV-1 / genetics*
  • HIV-1 / immunology
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • RNA, Viral / chemistry
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Serum Albumin / genetics*
  • Viral Load


  • DNA, Viral
  • RNA, Viral
  • Serum Albumin