Dried-plasma transport using a novel matrix and collection system for human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus virologic testing

R. M. Lloyd, D. A. Burns, J. T. Huong, R. L. Mathis, M. A. Winters, M. Tanner, A. De La Rosa, B. Yen-Lieberman, W. Armstrong, A. Taege, D. R. McClernon, J. L. Wetshtein, Brian M. Friedrich, Monique R. Ferguson, William O'Brien, P. M. Feorino, M. Holodniy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A novel method for the collection and transportation of dried-blood-plasma samples, SampleTanker (ST), was developed and compared to standard shipping protocols for frozen-plasma specimens containing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV). Matched frozen and dried 1-ml EDTA-containing plasma samples were collected and analyzed by several molecular-based virologic assays. After addition of 1.175 ml of reconstitution buffer, 1.035 ml of dried plasma was recovered. Mean intra-assay variances were 0.05, 0.05, and 0.06 log10 copies/ml for the Versant, Amplicor, and NucliSens QT HIV-1 load assays, respectively (P, not significant). However, mean HIV-1 viral load was consistently reduced in dried samples by 0.32 to 0.51 log10 copies/ml, depending on assay type (P < 0.05). Infectious HIV-1 was not recovered from dried ST plasma. There was no significant difference in HIV-1 viral load results obtained using ST after 8 weeks of storage at ambient temperature. Compared to frozen plasma, HIV-1 genotypic results were >99% concordant at the nucleotide and amino acid levels, as well as for resistance-associated mutations. We further demonstrated successful detection of multiple analytes, including HIV-1 viral load, HIV-1 antiretroviral resistance genotype, and HCV genotype, from a single ST unit. Dried plasma collected with ST yielded comparable results to frozen samples for multiple-analyte clinical testing. As such, ST could be a useful alternative for virologic tests and clinical trials worldwide by significantly diminishing transportation cost and the sample volume restrictions associated with dried-blood-spot technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1496
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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