See Photo report
© Christophe HARGOUES / IGH / CNRS Images
In the P3 laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Genetics of Montpellier (IGMM), certain cells from a blood sample from a patient infected with HIV-1 are sorted and cultured. The supernatant from these cultures is then collected. In order to find out whether the HIV-1 virus is present in these cells, and whether it is replicating (virus present in the supernatant), the viral RNA that may be present in the supernatant is extracted into silica columns. Each RNA sample extracted is then amplified via RT-qPCR (reverse transcription – quantitative polymerase chain reaction). This reaction, carried out in a LightCycler, is used to check whether or not the virus is present, and in what quantity.