Publications & Reports

A novel, rapid method to detect infectious HIV-1 from plasma of persons infected with HIV-1.

Cornall A, Sharma L, Solomon A, Gorry PR, Crowe SM, Cameron PU, Lewin SR
Infectious Diseases Unit, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Efficient isolation of replication-competent virus from plasma of patients infected with HIV-1 is needed to characterize important clinical parameters of virus. However, addition of plasma to in vitro cultures results in clot formation. Blood from HIV-1 infected patients was collected in the presence of three commonly used anticoagulants (ACD, heparin and EDTA) and plasma was isolated. Plasma was then used to infect HIV-1 indicator cell lines (TZM-bl and GHOST) with spinoculation in the presence or absence of additional heparin and positively charged polymers. The presence of additional heparin during inoculation significantly reduced clot formation without affecting the sensitivity of HIV-1 infection in the GHOST cell line. However, heparin reduced the frequency of HIV-1 infection of the TZM-bl cell line. Using plasma from patients with HIV RNA>1000 copies/ml (n=58), the frequency of HIV-1 isolation was 92% in GHOST (n=51) and 54% in TZM-bl (n=26) cell lines. A sensitive method was developed for rapid isolation of infectious HIV-1 from plasma of patients with HIV RNA>1000 copies/ml that includes spinoculation and the addition of heparin during infection of GHOST cells. This technique could be used for rapid evaluation of viral fitness, co-receptor usage or drug resistance without the need for viral amplification.


  • Journal: Journal of Virological Methods
  • Published: 01/04/2010
  • Volume: 165
  • Issue: 1
  • Pagination: 90-96