Performance of point-of-care xpert HIV-1 plasma viral load assay at a tertiary HIV care centre in Southern India

Chinnambedu Ravichandran Swathirajan, Ramachandran Vignesh, Jayaseelan Boobalan, Sunil Suhas Solomon, Shanmugam Saravanan, Pachamuthu Balakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background. Sustainable suppression of HIV replication forms the basis of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) medication. Thus, reliable quantification of HIV viral load has become an essential factor to monitor the effectiveness of the ART. Longer turnaround-time (TAT), batch testing and technical skills are major drawbacks of standard real-time PCR assays. Methods. The performance of the point-of-care Xpert HIV-1 viral load assay was evaluated against the Abbott RealTime PCR m2000rt system. A total of 96 plasma specimens ranging from 2.5 log10 copies ml-1 to 4.99 log10 copies ml-1 and proficiency testing panel specimens were used. Precision and accuracy were checked using the Pearson correlation coefficient test and Bland-Altman analysis. Results. Compared to the Abbott RealTime PCR, the Xpert HIV-1 viral load assay showed a good correlation (Pearson r=0.81; P<0.0001) with a mean difference of 0.27 log10 copies ml-1 (95%CI, -0.41 to 0.96 log10 copies ml-1; SD, 0.35 log10 copies ml-1). Conclusion. Reliable and ease of testing individual specimens could make the Xpert HIV-1 viral load assay an efficient alternative method for ART monitoring in clinical management of HIV disease in resource-limited settings. The rapid test results (less than 2 h) could help in making an immediate clinical decision, which further strengthens patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number000514
Pages (from-to)1379-1382
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of medical microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • HIV
  • Plasma viral load
  • Point-of-care
  • Xpert

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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