Improved Methods to Detect Low Levels of HIV Using Antibody-Based Technologies
Methods in molecular biology, January 2016
Eliseo A. Eugenin, Joan W. Berman
Persistence of latent virus represents a major barrier to eradicating HIV even in the current antiretroviral therapy era. A critical limitation to eliminating these viral reservoirs is the lack of reliable methods to detect, quantify, and characterize cells harboring low levels of virus. However, recent work of several laboratories indicates that PCR and viral amplification based technologies underestimate or overestimate the size of the reservoirs. Thus, new technologies and methodologies to detect, quantify, and characterize these viral reservoirs are necessary to monitor and eradicate HIV. Recent developments in imaging technologies have enabled the development or improvement of detection protocols and have facilitated the identification and quantification of several markers with exquisite resolution. In the context of HIV, we developed new protocols for the detection of low amounts of viral proteins. In this chapter, we describe several antibody-based technologies for signal amplification to improve and detect low amounts of HIV proteins in cells, tissues, and other biological samples. The improvement in these techniques is essential to detect viral reservoirs and to design strategies to eliminate them.
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