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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 210-216

Detection of opportunistic DNA viral infections by multiplex PCR among HIV infected individuals receiving care at a tertiary care hospital in South India

1 Department of Clinical Virology, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632004, India
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632004, India
3 Department of Dermatology, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632004, India

Correspondence Address:
R Kannangai
Department of Clinical Virology, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632004
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0255-0857.53202

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Purpose: Opportunistic viral infections cause increased morbidity and mortality among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected individuals, especially those who are not on antiretroviral treatment. Early diagnosis of these opportunistic viruses will be able to reduce the risk of disease progression with appropriate intervention. Materials and Methods: Multiplex PCR was attempted to detect the opportunistic herpes viruses (HSV-1, HSV-2, VZV, EBV, and CMV), adenovirus and polyoma viruses (JC and BK) in three cocktails of PCR reactions. Subsequently, all the viruses detected were quantitated by testing using monoplex real time PCR. Whole blood samples collected between 2006 and 2007 from 68 treatment naοve HIV-1 infected and 30 normal healthy individuals were tested for these eight viruses. Among the 68 HIV -1 infected individuals 35 had CD4+ T cell count less than or equal to 200 while the other 33 had greater than 200 CD4+ T cells. Results: Among the 68 HIV-1 infected individuals, 49 (72%) were positive for EBV, 5 (7%) samples were positive for CMV. All the five CMV positive individuals had CD4+ T cell count of less than or equal to 200 cells/L. The mean EBV load among the individuals with a CD4+ T cells of less than or equal to 200 cells/L was 3.88 log 10 while among those with greater than 200 CD4+ T cells it was 3.75 log 10 . The mean CMV load was 6.98 log 10. Three samples were positive for both CMV & EBV. None of the samples was positive for HSV-1, HSV-2, VZV, Adenovirus, JC and BK viruses. Conclusions: In our study, multiplex PCR based detection system was found useful in detecting opportunistic viruses in HIV infected individuals. Though EBV is the most prevalent opportunistic viral infection among HIV infected individuals, there was no significant association between EBV load, CD4+ T cell counts and HIV-1 virus load. CMV was seen in HIV infected individuals with low CD4+ T cell counts (less than 200 cells/μL).


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