Quantitation of HIV-1 by real-time PCR with a unique fluorogenic probe

Academic Article


  • Quantitation of HIV-1 specific RNA and DNA is pivotal to understanding the pathophysiology of HIV-1 diseases. A method has been developed for quantitation of HIV-1 DNA/RNA by real-time PCR using a unique fluorogenic primer-probe adduct known as scorpion. The probe hybridises to the extension of the adjoining primer intramolecularly, a process kinetically and thermodynamically more favourable than the conventional bimolecular probe-target hybridisation. Data presented in this paper indicate that the scorpion assay is extremely robust and is quite comparable to beacon-based assays. The scorpion assay is also comparable to quantitative competitive PCR (QC-PCR) assays but requires only a fraction of time and effort. Additionally, the dynamic range of the scorpion assay is several log-fold higher than the conventional end point PCR assays. As few as ten copies of vDNA can be detected in the presence of a large excess of exogenously added genomic DNA. Limiting dilution analysis indicates that the assay is capable of detecting a single copy of the viral template. Thus, the scorpion assay presents a specific and sensitive approach for quantitation of DNA/RNA templates by real-time PCR. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Saha BK; Tian B; Bucy RP
  • Start Page

  • 33
  • End Page

  • 42
  • Volume

  • 93
  • Issue

  • 1-2