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Sub-types and viral load
Nov 13, 1998

Regarding those rare sub-types that have the bad manners to evade detection via serology testing, are they equally as evasive with regard to viral load testing, or are viral load tests better at finding the intruder despite its evasive maneuvers??? AND... thanks again for your great forum.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Depends on the viral load test. You can think of it this way,the more parts of the virus you probe for, the more likely you are to detect it. Also, some areas of the virus are highly conserved (rarely if ever change or mutate) and others mutate frequently. Therefore, you want to look at lots of parts of the virus that are genetically conserved. PCR viral load testing looks at one small part that is fairly well conserved, bDNA viral load testing looks at several overlapping areas that are conserved. Antibody tests also have redundancy in them by probing for several different antibodies at once. Although, as we know, new viral strains are being described and its hard to keep up in redesigning kits that will detect all possibilities.

MH



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