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PLOS ONE Study Finds HIV Genotypic Sequencing Test Performs Comparably To Standard Phenotypic Test In Predicting Potential Response To CCR5 Antagonist

Researchers found that the genotypic and phenotypic tests performed comparably at predicting response in patients undergoing therapy with maraviroc. At week eight, the positive predictive value was 66% for the phenotypic test and 65% for the genotypic test, and negative predictive values were 59% for phenotyping and 58% for genotyping. 

Quest Diagnostics launched the Quest Diagnostics HIV-1 Tropism with Reflex to Ultradeep sequencing (UDS) laboratory-developed testing service, based on the genotypic-tropism testing technique used in the study, in June 2012. It is the first genotypic-tropism testing service available to physicians in the United States to demonstrate comparable performance to phenotyping in aiding the selection of patients for potential treatment with CCR5 antagonists. The company's laboratory in San Juan Capistrano, California, developed, validated and performs the testing service for clinicians nationally.  

Quest Diagnostics can provide results from the testing service in approximately a week for samples with a TPS result of X4 and in as little as 10 days for samples reflexed to UDS, compared to reported turnaround times of approximately 14 days for the phenotyping test used in the study.

"It is gratifying that sequencing has advanced to a level of sophistication that now enables it to perform comparably to phenotyping," said study investigator Ron M. Kagan Ph.D., director of Bioinformatics, Infectious Diseases, for the Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute, an advanced test research and development center. "Quest Diagnostics has a strong record of innovation in HIV testing, and we look forward to exploring further the potential of genetic sequencing, and UDS in particular, as tools for helping to manage HIV disease in other applications."

Study Strengths and Limitations

The study's strengths include its use of 327 de-identified samples from the MOTIVATE and A4001029 clinical trials, including clinical outcome data, that were part of the data submitted to the FDA for market approval of maraviroc. Although the study was retrospective, its inclusion of de-identified samples from patients from both studies helped to ensure that patients were included in the study who received maraviroc regardless of their viral tropism status, reducing the bias from using samples previously screened with the first commercial phenotyping laboratory test in the U.S.  Limitations include the use of specimens from only treatment-experienced patients, although prior studies demonstrate that UDS effectively detects tropism in treatment-naive patients, and the use of algorithms focused on HIV-1 subtype B, which, while found in the vast majority of U.S. HIV-1 infected patients, is less common outside the U.S.

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