Variation of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 viral RNA levels in the female genital tract: Implications for applying measurements to individual women

R. W. Coombs, D. J. Wright, P. S. Reichelderfer, D. N. Burns, J. Cohn, S. Cu-Uvin, P. A. Baron, M. H. Cohen, A. L. Landay, S. Lewis, A. Kovacs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The short-term detection and variability of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA level was assessed in the blood plasma and genital tracts of 55 HIV-1-infected women. Specimens were collected weekly for 8 weeks from the endocervical canal with wicks and cytobrushes and from the ectocervix and vagina with cervicovaginal lavage. In all, 48 women (87.3%) had detectable genital tract HIV-1 RNA at 1 collection times. HIV-1 RNA levels varied least in specimens from endocervical canal wick and most in cervicovaginal lavage samples. The within-subject variation for genital-tract virus level was greater than that for blood. Overall, the odds for viral RNA detection in the genital tract approximately tripled for each 10-fold increase in plasma viral RNA concentration (P<.001) or with concomitant genital tract infection (P = .003). Endocervical canal wicks should be considered as an adjunct to cervicovaginal lavage, to improve the sensitivity and precision of HIV-1 RNA detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1187-1191
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume184
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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