Viral growth assay to evaluate the replicative capacity of HIV-1 isolates

Emanuele Nicastri, Loredana Sarmati, Luca Dori, Marco Montano, Gabriella D'Ettorre, Anna Rita Buonomini, Saverio G. Parisi, Ercole Concia, Vincenzo Vullo, Massimo Andreoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The replicative capacity of HIV is studied by carrying out replication-competition experiments with the insertion of the gene of interest. These assays cannot capture the complicated patterns of mutations of different genes. A cross sectional study was carried out on 10 HIV-infected naïve patients and on 15 patients failing HAART. The CD8-depleted PBMCs, with known proviral DNA and cellular HIV-RNA copy numbers, were cultured. A reference curve was determined using the data obtained from 10 naïve patients. The replicative capacity was calculated as the ratio multiplied by 100 of the p24 antigen level of isolates over the p24 antigen level determined on the reference curve. A linear correlation between p24 antigen level and the infectious doses of HIV-DNA alone or plus cellular RNA copy number of PBMCs was found in naive patients (r=0.63, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-205
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Virological Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


  • Drug resistance
  • HIV
  • Replicative capacity
  • Viral growth assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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