Stability of HIV RNA in plasma specimens stored at different temperatures

Bahia Amellal*, R. Murphy, A. Maiga, G. Brucker, C. Katlama, V. Calvez, A. G. Marcelin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives: In resource-limited countries, HIV-1 RNA quantification is usually performed in reference laboratories. Samples from remote areas are transported under suboptimal conditions. Here we evaluated HIV-1 RNA stability in plasma stored at different temperatures for 1 week. Methods: Blood samples collected in ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and processed within 6 h of collection were tested by HIV-1 RNA quantification using Roche Cobas Ampliprep-Cobas TaqMan® (Roche Diagnostics). The results were compared with matched HIV-1 RNA concentrations determined from plasma stored for 1 week at 4, 22, 30 or 37 °C. Results: A total of 51 samples were evaluated: 10 stored at 4 °C, 15 at 22 °C, 16 at 30 °C and 10 at 37 °C. Keeping plasma at 4, 22 or 30 °C for 1 week did not affect HIV RNA measurement. Compared with HIV-1 RNA concentrations determined from fresh plasma, the correlation was significant for each of the three temperatures with no RNA decay. In contrast, HIV-1 RNA levels decreased significantly when plasma was stored at 37 °C. The 10 samples submitted at this temperature showed a weaker correlation (ρ = 0.84; P = 0.012) and a significantly reduced median HIV-1 RNA concentration (-0.92log10 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL; P = 0.005). Conclusion: Plasma can be saved for up to 1 week at 30 °C before shipping to a reference laboratory for HIV-1 RNA quantification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-793
Number of pages4
JournalHIV Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2008


  • HIV-1
  • Quantification
  • RNA stability
  • Temperatures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Stability of HIV RNA in plasma specimens stored at different temperatures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this