Sequence-Specific Detection Method for Reverse Transcription, Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification of HIV-1

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HIV diagnosis at the point-of-care or in resourcelimited settings poses considerable challenges due to time and cost limitations. Currently, nucleic acid-based tests are the only reliable method for diagnosing recent infections during the window period post-infection and pre-seroconversion, but these tests are only suitable for well-equipped laboratory settings. The reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) technology exhibits characteristics that are ideal for the development of a rapid, cost-effective nucleic acid-based test for detection of HIV DNA and RNA. In this study, a sequence-specific detection method was developed for immediate, naked-eye visualization of RT-LAMP products with high sensitivity and specificity. The rapid detection method was incorporated into the HIV-1-specific RT-LAMP assay and validated using minute volumes of whole blood from HIV-1-infected individuals. Together with the minimal sample preparation time and one-step, isothermal amplification reaction, the sequence-specific detection method adds to the overall versatility of the RT-LAMP assay and enhances the applicability for use at point-of-care or resource-limited sites.

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