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New assay for HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus genotyping
WESTPORT, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Researchers at the Aaron Diamond
AIDS Research Center in New York have developed a new genotyping
technique called the combinatorial DNA melting assay, or COMA. Dr.
David Ho and colleagues believe that this new assay will
"...accelerate current efforts to understand the global molecular
epidemiology of HIV-1 and [hepatitis C virus] HCV."
"The genetic classification of HIV-1 and HCV strains has
important implications for the development of globally effective
vaccines and for the management of patients," according to Dr. Ho
and others. In the July issue of Molecular Medicine, they write
that COMA determines genetic subtypes of HIV-1 by analyzing
sequences encoding the env region and determines genetic subtypes
of HCV by analyzing the sequences encoding the C and E1
Dr. Ho's group says that "[t]he development of COMA draws from
the experience of numerous investigators over many years in the
area of DNA melting kinetics, particularly with regard to work on
denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis." A major advantage of COMA
compared with genotyping techniques that use analytical gel
electrophoresis is that COMA can "...compare each unknown HIV-1 and
HCV strain with multiple reference strains simultaneously."
Mol Med 1998;4:443-453.
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