The Effectiveness of HIV Drug Resistance Mutation Testing on Dried Blood Spot (DBS) Samples in Vietnam

Author(s): Tram Hong Tran, Thien Huu Doan, Huong Thi Thu Phan, Xuyen Huu Doan, Thai Duy Nguyen

Background: Over the past years, numerous countries worldwide have conducted investigations into HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) using methods recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) [1]. In 2017, WHO launched a global action plan on HIV drug resistance, outlining strategies for prevention, monitoring, and response to HIV drug resistance in order to achieve the goal of controlling and ultimately ending the HIV pandemic by 2030 [2, 3].

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of various diagnostic kits used in genetic testing to detect HIV drug-resistant mutations on dried blood spot (DBS) samples in Vietnam. Method: 56 research articles were selected following PRISMA guidelines for the study.

Results: Globally, four types of diagnostic kits—Trugene, Viroseq, ATCC, and In-house nested PCR—are employed for genetic sequencing to identify drug-resistant mutations on DBS samples [4, 5]. With advantages such as ease of implementation, small sample volume (100 ul/drop), cost-effectiveness, convenience in sample transportation at room temperature, and reduced risk of cross-contamination, DBS has gradually replaced plasma samples in general molecular biological tests and genetic sequencing tests in particular [6].

Conclusion: The In-house nested RT-PCR technique can be used for testing HIV drug-resistant mutations on DBS samples with HIV viral loads greater than 1000 copies/ml in Vietnam, as an alternative to plasma samples [7].

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