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Research & Development

The Bloodborne Viruses Laboratory’s applied research program includes developing molecular and serological laboratory methods to address clinical testing and surveillance needs. The laboratory also collaborates with internal and external investigators on applied and public health-focused research projects. We have served as an Association of Public Health Laboratories’ HIV Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) Reference Center since 2012. The goals of this project are to provide U.S. public health laboratories with HIV-1 and HIV-2 RNA testing to assist in the diagnosis of acute HIV infections and to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing HIV NAT using shared services model.

Current research projects include a collaboration with the investigators at the City University of New York on the Staying Safe Study in which we conduct RNA testing and viral sequencing of hepatitis C virus (HCV) to analyze transmission networks among young people who inject drugs. We recently conducted a seroprevalence study of HCV in pregnant women in New York State and are currently collaborating on SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence studies. These include a collaboration with the Wadsworth Center Newborn Screening Program to assess the seroprevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 in women who gave birth in New York State from November 2019 through December 2020. We are also part of a Wadsworth Center team funded through a U01 grant to develop enhanced dried blood spot serology methods for measuring SARS-CoV-2 exposure and immunity as part of the National Cancer Institute’s Serological Sciences Network for COVID-19 (SeroNet)

Current assay development projects

  • HIV-2 RNA and DNA detection and quantification using droplet digital PCR technology

  • HIV-1 DNA detection by droplet digital PCR

  • HIV-2 next generation sequencing using HIV xGen probe capture technology to detect antiretroviral drug resistance mutations

  • HCV RNA quantification from dried blood spots

  • Next generation sequencing of hepatitis C virus (HCV) from dried blood spots for analysis using Global Hepatitis Outbreak and Surveillance Technology (GHOST)

  • HCV avidity assay using dried blood spots for incidence surveillance

  • SARS-CoV-2 microsphere immunoassay for detecting and quantifying SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in dried blood spot

Bloodborne Viruses

  • Styer LM, Gaynor AM, Parker MM, Bennett SB, Wesolowski LG, Ethridge S, Chavez PR, Sullivan TJ, Fordan S, Wroblewski K. Three years of shared service HIV-1 and HIV-2 nucleic acid testing for public health laboratories. Sex Transm Dis. 2019;10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001123
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  • Parker MM, Bennett SB, Sullivan TJ, Fordan S, Wesolowski LG, Wroblewski K, Gaynor AM. Performance of the Alere Determine HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo Rapid Test with algorithm defined acute HIV-1 infection specimens. J Clin Virol. 2018;10489-91.10.1016/j.jcv.2018.05.005
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  • Luo W, Davis G, Li L, Shriver MK, Mei J, Styer LM, Parker MM, Smith A, Paz-Bailey G, Ethridge S, Wesolowski L, Owen SM, Masciotra S. Evaluation of dried blood spot protocols with the Bio-Rad GS HIV Combo Ag/Ab EIA and Geenius™ HIV 1/2 Supplemental Assay. J Clin Virol. 2017;9184-89.10.1016/j.jcv.2017.03.011
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  • Wesolowski LG, Wroblewski K, Bennett SB, Parker MM, Hagan C, Ethridge SF, Rhodes J, Sullivan TJ, Ignacio-Hernando I, Werner BG, Owen SM. Nucleic acid testing by public health referral laboratories for public health laboratories using the U.S. HIV diagnostic testing algorithm. Clinical Virology. 2015;(65):6-10.
  • Pubmed Web Address

  • Sullivan TJ, Antonio-Gaddy MS, Richardson-Moore A, Styer LM, Bigelow-Saulsbery D, Parker MM. Expansion of HIV screening to non-clinical venues is aided by the use of dried blood spots for Western blot confirmation. Clinical Virology. 2013;(58):123-126.
  • Pubmed Web Address

  • Styer LM, Miller TT, Parker MM. Validation and clinical use of a sensitive HIV-2 viral load assay that uses a whole virus internal control. Journal of Clinical Virology. 2013;58(suppl 1):E127-E133.
  • Pubmed Web Address

  • Goldsamt LA, Clatts MC, Parker MM, Colon V, Hallack R, Messina MG. Prevalence of Sexually Acquired Antiretroviral Drug Resistance in a Community Sample of HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex with Men in New York City. AIDS Patient Care & Stds. 2011;25(5):287-293.
  • Pubmed Web Address

  • Styer LM, Sullivan TJ, Parker MM. Evaluation of an alternative supplemental testing strategy for HIV diagnosis by retrospective analysis of clinical HIV testing data. Journal of Clinical Virology. 2011;52(Suppl 1):S35-S40.
  • Pubmed Web Address