Methods for Diagnosing and Monitoring HIV-Infection – IP 1632

Despite significant advancements made in the development ofanti-retroviral (ARV) therapeutics, infections caused by HIV remain a seriousthreat to human health. At the early stage of infection, HIV penetrates theblood-brain-barrier (BBB) to enter the central nervous system (CNS), causingneuroAIDS as well as the development of latent HIV reservoirs in the CNS.Progression of HIV infection can gradually cause neuro-inflammation,neurodegeneration, and other related diseases such as, for example,HIV-encephalitis (HIVE). Additionally, neurological disorders associated withHIV infection can become more severe with patients who consume substances ofabuse such as, for example, cocaine. Currently, enzyme-linked immunosorbent immunoassay (ELISA),real time/quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT/Q-PCR), and western blotare the most commonly used analytical tools for monitoring HIV infection byestimating p24 antigen, LTR level, and/or protein expression. Opticalassays-based surface plasmon resonance (SPR) system has also shown utility inquantifying CD4+ cells for detecting the progression of HIV infections.Unfortunately, these methods are expensive, time consuming (turnarounddetection time of 6-8 hours), and require technical expertise inimplementation. FIU inventors have developed an electrochemical method-basedon electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) for the rapid assessment ofHIV-infection on using substance of abuse and specific targeted therapeuticdrugs. The detection of HIV infection is accomplished by measuring theelectrochemical impedance of cells found in the CNS and/or the peripheralnervous system (PNS), and determining changes in the electrophysiology of thecells by comparing the measured electrochemical response of the cells withpre-determined control measurements. Results confirmed that HIV-infection,cocaine exposure, and therapeutic mechanism of drug affected electro-physiologyof cells which is detected as a function of charge transfer resistance (Rct). Anne Laure Schmitt Olivier 305-348-5948

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