Detection of HIV-1 RNA in plasma by isothermal amplification (NASBA) irrespective of the stage of HIV-1 infection

J Virol Methods. 1995 Mar;52(1-2):175-81. doi: 10.1016/0166-0934(94)00160-i.


Using an experimental assay for isothermal amplification of HIV RNA in plasma (NASBA, Organon Teknika, Boxtel, The Netherlands), 70 samples from 59 HIV-1-infected persons and 29 samples from 28 uninfected volunteer blood donors were tested for the presence of HIV-1 RNA. The HIV-1-positive plasma samples were drawn from patients at various stages of infection: two samples from persons with signs of acute HIV infection (CDC stage I); 29 samples from 25 symptom-free persons (CDC stage II) and 39 samples from 32 persons with AIDS-related symptoms (CDC stage IV). All samples from HIV-1-infected persons had HIV-1 RNA, irrespective of the stage of infection (100% sensitivity). Testing the donor samples in duplicate, initially 54/58 samples (93%) tested negative for HIV-1 RNA. Repeated testing of the 4 samples with inconsistent test results showed all samples to be negative (specificity 100%). Detection of HIV-1 RNA in plasma by isothermal amplification (NASBA) promises to be a valuable alternative to the detection of HIV-1 RNA or DNA by the polymerase chain reaction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / blood
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • DNA Primers
  • HIV Seropositivity / blood
  • HIV Seropositivity / diagnosis*
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques*
  • RNA, Viral / blood*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA Primers
  • RNA, Viral