Background: HIV diversity may be a useful biomarker for discriminating between recent and non-recent HIV infection. The high resolution melting (HRM) diversity assay was developed to quantify HIV diversity in viral populations without sequencing. In this assay, HIV diversity is expressed as a single numeric HRM score that represents the width of a melting peak. HRM scores are highly associated with diversity measures obtained with next generation sequencing. In this report, a software package, the HRM Diversity Assay Analysis Tool (DivMelt), was developed to automate calculation of HRM scores from melting curve data. Methods: DivMelt uses computational algorithms to calculate HRM scores by identifying the start (T1) and end (T2) melting temperatures for a DNA sample and subtracting them (T2-T1 = HRM score). DivMelt contains many user-supplied analysis parameters to allow analyses to be tailored to different contexts. DivMelt analysis options were optimized to discriminate between recent and non-recent HIV infection and to maximize HRM score reproducibility. HRM scores calculated using DivMelt were compared to HRM scores obtained using a manual method that is based on visual inspection of DNA melting curves. Results: HRM scores generated with DivMelt agreed with manually generated HRM scores obtained from the same DNA melting data. Optimal parameters for discriminating between recent and non-recent HIV infection were identified. DivMelt provided greater discrimination between recent and non-recent HIV infection than the manual method. Conclusion: DivMelt provides a rapid, accurate method of determining HRM scores from melting curve data, facilitating use of the HRM diversity assay for large-scale studies.
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