TaqMan RT-PCR and VERSANT® HIV-1 RNA 3.0 (bDNA) assay: Quantification of HIV-1 RNA viral load in breast milk

Kiersten Israel-Ballard, Rainer Ziermann, Christian Leutenegger, James Di Canzio, Kimmy Leung, Lynn Strom, Barbara Abrams, Caroline J Chantry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Transmission of HIV via breast milk is a primary cause of pediatric HIV infection in developing countries. Reliable methods to detect breast milk viral load are important. Objective: To correlate the ability of the VERSANT HIV 3.0 (bDNA) assay to real-time (RT) TaqMan PCR in quantifying breast milk HIV-1 RNA. Study design: Forty-six breast milk samples that had been spiked with cell-free HIV-1 and eight samples spiked with cell-associated HIV-1 were assayed for HIV-1 RNA by both VERSANT HIV 3.0 and TaqMan RNA assays. Results: Only assays on the cell-free samples were statistically compared. Both a Deming regression slope and a Bland-Altman slope indicated a linear relationship between the two assays. TaqMan quantitations were on average 2.6 times higher than those of HIV 3.0. A linear relationship was observed between serial dilutions of spiked cell-free HIV-1 and both the VERSANT HIV 3.0 and the TaqMan RNA assays. Conclusion: The two methods correlated well although the VERSANT HIV 3.0 research protocol quantified HIV-1 RNA slightly lower than TaqMan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-256
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • bDNA
  • Breast milk viral load
  • HIV
  • Mother-to-child transmission
  • TaqMan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Virology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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