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TESTING for reverse transcriptase
Aug 15, 2005

Dear Dr. Conway, As this is a forum for managing side effects of HIV treatment, I was wondering if you can just very quickly answer a question. How do you test for the reverse transcriptase enzyme. Where can you go to be tested for it?

Thanks a lot, By the way, all of your responses are very intelligent and admirable. How can you store all that information in your brain?!

Thanks again, CT STudent

Response from Dr. Conway

This is an experimental test done for research purposes only, in which a DNA/RNA hetrodimer is exposed to the test sample in question (plasma or cell extract) to see if it acts to extend the DNA (a task that can only be accomplished by a reverse transcritase enzyme, in the presence of specific ions, such as magnesium).

This is ONLY a research test, used almost exclusively by basic sicentists. It has only been used in clinical medicine on a sporadic basis, to investigate the extremely rare case of immune disease for which no other cause has been found, and for which it is thought that a new retrovirus might be the explanation.



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