Virology & Molecular Biology

Virology & Molecular Biology Laboratory:

The lab is equipped with automated high-end instruments for molecular diagnosis of STIs and HIV. Quality of the testing is assured throughout the testing process. The current test menu includes HIV-1 RNA and DNA PCR and CT/NG DNA Multiplex PCR.

HIV-1 RNA PCR – Quantitative (Viral Load Testing):

Accurate monitoring of viral load levels, in conjunction with clinical presentation and other laboratory markers may be used to assess prognosis, monitor anti-retroviral therapy and clinical management of HIV-1 infected patients.
This assay quantitatively measures the amount of HIV-1 RNA in the peripheral blood (viral load). The ABBOTT m2000rt RealTime PCR is a FDA (USA) approved methodology and it is an in vitro nucleic acid amplification test for the quantification of HIV-1 RNA in human plasma

The test facilitates the quantification of HIV-1 RNA over the range of 40/150 -10 million copies/mL.
Required specimen is anticoagulated plasma in EDTA tube. Heparin separated plasma sample should not be used. Turn around time (TAT) for this assay is 5-7 days.

ABBOTT Multiplex PCR for Gonococcus and Chlamydia:

The ABBOTT Chlamydia trachomatis / Neisseria gonorrhoae (CT/NG) test is a multiplex qualitative in vitro test for the detection of its DNA in the clinical specimens (urine / vaginal swab). The test is based on Real Time PCR using m2000rt system.

HIV-1 Drug Resistance Assay:

Drug resistance has been identified as a major factor contributing to therapy failure. The genetic basis of drug resistance is the high mutation rate and very high replication rate of HIV. Persistent viral replication in the presence of sub-inhibitory drug levels leads to the evolution of drug resistant variants and consequently to therapy failure. In order to find a new potent drug combination after therapy failure, current treatment guidelines recommend resistance testing. Different methods for resistance testing exist, which are either based on scanning the viral genome for resistance-associated mutations (genotypic assays) or on measuring viral activity in cell culture assays in the presence or absence of drug (phenotypic assays).
YRG CARE Laboratory performs Genotyping test which is used more commonly in clinical settings because of their wider availability, lower-cost, and short turnaround time. Required specimen is EDTA anticoagulated plasma. The test is done using validated and quality assured, in-house methodology with PCR amplification ( using ABI PCR 9700 system) and sequencing (using ABI 3500 Genetic Analyser) of the pol gene of the virus. Patient must have a viral load of more than 3000 copies/mL for genotyping to be performed. The report is provided within 10 days.