The Virology Core Laboratory of the Mount Sinai ACTG is fully certified for both qualitative and quantitative HIV culture and for p24 assays. In the calendar year 1990 the Mount Sinai Virology Core Laboratory processed 1,754 ACTG serum samples for assay and banking; 472 HIV cultures were performed for the ACTG protocol programs and over 5,000 samples of either serum, plasma, cerebrospinal fluid or cell culture supernatants were assayed for p24 antigen. The Mount Sinai Virology Laboratory serves as the virology laboratory for 10 participating ACTU sub-units. The Mount Sinai Virology Laboratory is at the forefront of the computerization of protocol data generated by the ACTG Virology Laboratories, serving as a beta site for the new software and having provided early models for this software to Dataworks. The laboratory is the official virology laboratory for ACTG protocol 068. Laboratory personnel serve as protocol virologists and as chairs and members of various ACTG virology sub-committee. The cost effectiveness of Mount Sinai's Virology Laboratory has increased progressively since 1987. While the number of samples processed by the laboratory rose by approximately 80% per year, cost increases have been held to less than 30% per year. Individual productivity and laboratory efficiency were progressively improved. Indeed, the quality of the data generated was enhanced through increased individual productivity and the coordination of the functions of clinical and laboratory personnel with increased automation of sample tracking and data handling. In addition to the ACTG work the laboratory has also participated in non-ACTG studies. Moreover, the laboratory serves as an invaluable repository of sample materials for basic research programs on various aspects of the molecular biology of HIV at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Mount Sinai Laboratory expects to be an important contributor to the development of standardized protocols for evaluation and quantitation of the development of resistance by HIV to the antiviral agents currently in use and in the study of the interactions of HIV-1 and concomitant viral opportunistic infections.

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