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Evaluation of the ELITechGroup solution for plasma HIV-1 RNA quantification.

In the last few years, many manufacturers have developed new kits for plasma HIV-1 RNA quantification. Recently, a solution consisting of the ELITe InGenius® instrument and the HIV1 ELITe MGB®kit has been commercialized worldwide. Our aim was to compare its clinical performance with the Aptima® HIV-1 Quant Dx kit by Hologic, on a panel of HIV-1 group M circulating variants, representative of viral load levels found during the pre- and post-treatment follow-up of patients. The linearity was evaluated on the AcroMetrix® HIV-1 Panel. Clinical specificity was evaluated on 100 plasma samples negative for HIV; and clinical sensitivity and sequential follow-up were evaluated on 166 HIV-1 positive plasma samples from 126 patients. The linearity data showed a difference obtained for each point of less than 0.2 Log cp/mL. No amplification was found for the 100 HIV negative clinical specimens. The overall agreement between the two kits was 83.7 %; the differences corresponded to a slightly higher detection for the Aptima kit (with more samples detected below the lower limit of quantification). A Bland & Altman analysis of the quantifiable samples showed a mean difference of -0.05 Log and Spearman's coefficient was 0.975. Only six samples presented discrepancies (above 0.5 Log), but these differences were overall similar between the two kits. Our study has shown that the HIV1 ELITe MGB® Kit can be successfully used for the monitoring of patients infected with various epidemic HIV-1 strains, and for the precise quantification of the viral load.

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