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We describe a detailed protocol for the manual workup of blood (plasma/serum) samples from individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) for deep sequence analysis of the viral genome. The study optimizing the assay was performed in the context of the BEEHIVE (Bridging the Evolution and Epidemiology of HIV in Europe) project, which analyzes complete viral genomes from more than 3000 HIV-1-infected Europeans with high-throughput deep sequencing techniques. The goal of the BEEHIVE project is to determine the contribution of viral genetics to virulence. Recently we performed a pilot experiment with 125 patient plasma samples to identify the method that is most suitable for isolation of HIV-1 viral RNA for subsequent long-amplicon deep sequencing. We reported that manual isolation with the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit (Qiagen) provides superior results over robotically extracted RNA. The latter approach used the MagNA Pure 96 System in combination with the MagNA Pure 96 Instrument (Roche Diagnostics), the QIAcube robotic system (Qiagen), or the mSample Preparation Systems RNA kit with automated extraction by the m2000sp system (Abbott Molecular). Here we present a detailed protocol for the labor-intensive manual extraction method that yielded the best results.

Original publication





Publication Date





55 - 61


HIV-1, High-throughput deep sequencing, Nearly complete genome, QIAamp viral isolation kit, RNA isolation, DNA, Viral, Genome, Viral, HIV Infections, HIV-1, High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing, Humans, Reagent Kits, Diagnostic, Viral Load