Author(s): De Mulder M, Holgun A, De Mulder M, Holgun A
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Abstract As access to antiretroviral treatment increases in the developing countries, efforts towards making it easier and less costly to collect, store, and deliver the biological samples to reference laboratories, where the serological and genetic diagnosis techniques are performed, have become a high priority. Blood sampling on filter papers is an inexpensive and practical alternative to plasma for antiretroviral treatment monitoring in countries with limited resources and no access to cold chains or refrigeration. The main clinical applications and uses of blood-sampling onto filter papers (dried blood spots [DBS]) are reviewed, focusing on how these can be applied in monitoring HIV infection, particularly for use in National Health Programs in developing countries, or in resource-limited settings. A review is presented of studies that have used the DBS technique for quantifying viral load, analysis of antiretroviral drug-resistance mutations, early infant diagnosis, adult serological diagnosis, detection of viral p24 antigen, and molecular epidemiology of HIV-1, in different geographical locations. Those variables that could affect the use of DBS, particularly in the HIV field, as well as explaining how these procedures can be optimised to increase their sensitivity are also reviewed. The aim of this study was to review the advantages of implementing the DBS technique in the HIV field, especially in resource-constrained regions. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research