November 16, 2013
Paul E. Sax, M.D., is director of the HIV Program and Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Head over to this page from Janssen Diagnostics, and you'll receive this little pop-up message:
Must say it's in some ways sad to see it go -- in my opinion the nifty work they did correlating genotype results with their database of phenotypes gave the clearest representation of what a genotype actually means. If you didn't want to order both genotype and phenotype simultaneously -- which was expensive and took weeks to come back from the lab -- vircoTYPE was was the most efficient way to get information on complex resistance patterns. Sure, one could quibble about methodology and validation of the test, but it was remarkable indeed to send a genotype and get back results estimating fold-change, upper and lower cut-offs, full and partial activity -- and virus clade, just for kicks.
What about the existing patients with this sort of resistance? Most are virologically suppressed right now, and hence don't need resistance tests anymore.
And in a nice irony, it's in part the antiretrovirals made by the therapeutics branch of this company -- darunavir in particular, etravirine as well -- that have made the vircoTYPE obsolete.
So for posterity's sake, here's a "beautiful" (what a nerdy thing to write) vircoTYPE from one of those patients, the test obtained in the late 2000s:
His current situation? Virologically suppressed on darunavir, etravirine, raltegravir, of course.
Paul Sax is Clinical Director of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital. His blog HIV and ID Observations is part of Journal Watch, where he is Editor-in-Chief of Journal Watch AIDS Clinical Care.
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