BPN637: Novel Molecular Diagnostics Based on RNAi for HIV Detection


Currently the mainstream technique for HIV diagnosis in resource poor settings is rapid diagnostic tests (eg. lateral flow assays). However, most of these tests do not provide a quantitative readout, shelf life is limited, has a large window of detection, and cannot monitor the patient's disease progression. Here we propose a novel technique for rapid on site diagnostics of HIV in a resource poor setting based on sensing the RNA interference levels. When CD4+T cells are infected by HIV, their RNA interference pathway is induced and RISC complexes become a sequence specific enzyme that cleaves complementary mRNA. We will create a system that monitors RISC cleavage activity. Compared to antigen/antibody binding in lateral flow assays, this system does not need to store proteins, thus it will have a longer shelf life. The system's quantitative readout will also bring benefits such as continued monitoring of disease progression. Because it is based on RNA detection, not antigen seroconversion, the window of detection is expected to be shorter than lateral flow assays (1 week compared to 1 month). This molecular detection technique is incorporated into a microfluidic system. The overall system may become an convenient alternative solution to the current rapid tests used for HIV diagnostics.

Project end date: 02/06/12

Erh-Chia Yeh
Publication date: 
August 17, 2011
Publication type: 
BSAC Project Materials (Final/Archive)
PREPUBLICATION DATA - ©University of California 2011

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