XVIII International AIDS Conference

Abstract

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A South-to-South initiative to evaluate the HIV genetic diversity: the construction of an inter-country bio-bank

M.I.M.C. Pardini1,2, R.S. Souza3,4, M. Galvão Simão4, L. Inocêncio4, R. Kuchenbecker4, C. d'Almeida4

1UNESP- Medical School, Blood Transfusion Center and Internal Medicine Department, Botucatu, Brazil, 2Ministry of Health, STD/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Department, Brasília, Brazil, 3Caxias do Sul University, Caxias do Sul, Brazil, 4Ministry of Health, DST/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Department, Brasília, Brazil

Background: Notwithstanding the foremost importance of public databanks on the genetic diversity of HIV as a tool for a better understanding of the HIV/AIDS progression in southern countries, these remain still marginal. In this light, a pilot inter-country databank is presently under construction in the ambit of the Technological Cooperation Network on HIV/AIDS, a south-to-south collaborative initiative comprising the Ministries of Health of Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, China, Russia, Ukraine and Thailand.
Methods: The Pilot Bio-Bank encompasses a laboratory network comprising reference laboratories located at the countries' capitals. The blood sample collection (10 ml of whole blood) will be firstly carried out by admitting 100 voluntary HIV/AIDS patients of each country. A physical (Bio-Bank) and an electronic (Virtual-Bank) database will thus be constituted from the data provided by the patients' samples, which will generate three applications: Panel 1, addressed to the diagnosis of HIV infection; Panel 2, aiming at the monitoring of HIV treatment and Panel 3, as a means to the analysis of the HIV resistance.
Results:
(i) Significant disparities on technological capacity and laboratory infrastructure have been observed among nations;
(ii) Different diagnostics and monitoring technologies are employed amongst countries, which vary from “in-house” kits to robust technologies, notably to the quantification of the viral load;
(iii) Due to the elevated costs, most countries are unable to perform resistance tests, such as, HIV genotyping.
Conclusions:
(i) The technological assessment of the countries' has identified potential alternatives for the research and development of more suitable laboratory technologies,
(ii) the technological disparities observed among countries illustrates the need for data collection harmonization and training of laboratory staff,
(iii) the identification of HIV diversity provided by the Bio-Bank might play a relevant role as an efficiency indicator in the conduction of public policies referring to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in southern countries.


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