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ATCC, CDC, Thermo Fisher Partner to Bring HIV Drug Resistance Assay to Resource-Poor Countries

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — ATCC has partnered with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Thermo Fisher Scientific to bring a rapid, cost-effective PCR-based method of monitoring HIV drug resistance to resource-limited countries, ATCC said today.

Specifically, ATCC and CDC have partnered to scale up and distribute the kit to World Health Organization-designated and CDC-supported genotyping laboratories established through the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The ATCC HIV-1 Drug Resistance Genotyping Kit was optimized for off-the-shelf detection of specific HIV-1 genomic mutations that confer resistance to certain anti-retroviral therapies. In addition, the kit can be used to sequence and genotype certain regions of the HIV-1 genome that are targeted by ARVs and are the principle locations of ARV-resistance mutations.

In addition, ATCC said that the kit as been optimized for sample collection methods most often used in developing countries, such as dried blood spots. Furthermore, ATCC said that it is leveraging its expertise in global cold-chain distribution of biological materials to supply the temperature-sensitive reagents under stable conditions.

"More than 35 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, and drug resistance continues to confront people living with HIV," Dan Didier, director of public health in Thermo Fisher's Life Sciences Solutions group, said in a statement. "Through our partnership with the CDC and ATCC we have been able to supply components for a surveillance system to understand the spread of drug-resistant HIV throughout the African continent."