This study compared levels of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA in plasma as measured by the Quantiplex branched-DNA and NucliSens nucleic acid sequence-based amplification assays. RNA was detectable in 118 of 184 samples (64.13%) by the Quantiplex assay and in 171 of 184 samples (92.94%) by the NucliSens assay. Regression analysis indicated that a linear relationship existed between the two sets of values (P < 0.0001), although the Quantiplex and NucliSens values were significantly different (P < 0.001), with the NucliSens values being approximately 0.323 log higher. Spearman correlation analysis indicated that the overall changes in patient viral load patterns were highly correlative between the two assays: r = 0.912, P < 0.0001. The lower limits of sensitivity were determined to be approximately 100 copies/ml and 1,200 to 1,400 copies/ml for the NucliSens and Quantiplex assays, respectively
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