|Viral load by PCR versus branch dna
Jan 7, 1999
I am a medical technologist and our lab is about to start testing for hiv by branch DNA. Previously we were sending out our specimens for viral load by PCR to a reference lab. Now we are wondering how do the numbers compare between the two methods? Is there a formula that we can use to convert the numbers so the doctors know how to compare the results. Hope you can give us some help.
| Response from Dr. Holodniy
This is a very important question. The current PCR test (HIV-1 Monitor, Roche) with a cutoff of 400 copies/ml, usually gives a viral load value of 2 times greater than the Chiron 2.0 bDNA viral load assay (500 copy/ml cutoff). The new version of the Chiron assay (version 3.0, 50 copy/ml cutoff), gives values about 2 fold greater than version 2.0, or about equal to the current PCR based test. When switching assays you should always rebaseline with 2 assays. MH
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