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  • branched DNA assay JAMA
    (bDNA test.) A test developed by the Chiron Corporation for measuring the amount of HIV (as well as other viruses) in blood plasma. The test uses a method that creates a luminescent signal whose brightness depends on the amount of viral RNA (see) present. Test results are calibrated in numbers of virus particle equivalents per milliliter of plasma. The bDNA test is similar in results but not in technique to the PCR test (see). bDNA testing is currently being used to evaluate the effectiveness of drug treatment regimens and to gauge HIV disease progression. Newer versions, or generations, of these assays are being developed; they will be able to detect smaller numbers of copies of HIV in a blood sample. See Viral Burden.
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