HIV-1 DNA extracted from frozen and formalin fixed brain tissue can be detected using PCR. This work has been extended by amplifying, using semiquantitative PCR, HIV DNA extracted from frontal lobe tissue of 16 patients with AIDS (eight positive and eight negative for p24 antigen). DNA was amplified using HIV-1 pol gene digoxigenin labelled primers and detected by chemiluminescence and densitometry. Cloned standards were amplified in parallel for quantification. HIV DNA levels detected in frozen tissue showed a correlation with p24 positivity and the severity of the histological diagnosis. This correlation was less clear in the formalin fixed material.
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