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The polymerase chain amplification reaction (PCR) is a sensitive, specific, and quantitative assay of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The assay was performed with polymerases from Escherichia coli or Thermus aquaticus (Taq). A single pair of oligonucleotide primers within the long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences were used to detect HIV-1 sequences in infected cell cultures and fresh tissues of the large majority of infected individuals. The amplified product was a faithful copy of this LTR sequence. Utilization of a subsaturating number of cycles of amplification allowed quantitation of HIV-1 DNA sequences.

Original publication




Journal article


AIDS research and human retroviruses

Publication Date





87 - 95


Division of Hematology and Oncology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110.


Cells, Cultured, Humans, Thermus, Escherichia coli, HIV-1, DNA Polymerase I, DNA, Viral, Oligodeoxyribonucleotides, Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques, Base Sequence, Molecular Sequence Data, Terminator Regions, Genetic