What is the role of viral culture in HIV testing?

Updated: Sep 19, 2018
  • Author: David J Cennimo, MD, FAAP, FACP, AAHIVS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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This technique is based on the isolation of the virus by cultivation of PBMC in an individual with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–1 infection with phytohemagglutinin-stimulated donor PBMCs with interleukin-2.

The main use of viral culture is for diagnosis of HIV-1 infection in infants, but, given its disadvantages (the test is expensive, is labor intensive, has a biohazard potential, and requires 2-3 weeks before a result can be obtained), it has been supplanted by NAATs. [48, 49]

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