The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) stores specimens from its clinical trials in a biorepository and permits the use of these specimens for nonprotocol exploratory studies, once the studies for the original protocol are concluded. We sought to assess the comparability of the data generated from real-time HIV-1 RNA testing during two clinical trials with the data generated from the retesting of different aliquots of the same samples after years of storage at -80°C. Overall, there was 92% agreement in the data generated for 1,570 paired samples (kappa statistic = 0.757; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.716 to 0.797), where samples were tested in one laboratory using the microwell plate (MWP) version of the Roche HIV-1 Monitor test within 1 to 37 days of collection and retested in another laboratory using the Cobas version of the assay after a median of 6.7 years of storage (range, 5.7 to 8.6 years). Historical external quality control data submitted to the NIAID Virology Quality Assurance program (VQA) by client laboratories using the same two versions of the Monitor assay were used to differentiate between systematic differences in the assays to evaluate the stability of HIV-1 RNA in the stored samples. No significant loss of RNA was noted in samples containing either a low concentration (<50 copies/ml) or a high concentration (≥50 copies/ml) of HIV-1 RNA ( P = 0.10 and P = 0.90, respectively) regardless of the time in storage. These data confirm the quality of the plasma samples in the ACTG biorepository following long-term storage.
Use of external quality control material for HIV-1 RNA testing to assess the comparability of data generated in separate laboratories and the stability of HIV-1 RNA in samples after prolonged storage
Jennings, C., Wager, C. G., Scianna, S. R., Zaccaro, D. J., Couzens, A., Mellors, J. W., Coombs, R. W., & Bremer, J. W. (2018). Use of external quality control material for HIV-1 RNA testing to assess the comparability of data generated in separate laboratories and the stability of HIV-1 RNA in samples after prolonged storage. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 56(6), [UNSP e00120-18]. https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00120-18