A Competitive Lateral Flow Assay for the Detection of Tenofovir

PI: Catherine Klapperich

Proper management of an HIV infection requires that a patient be at least 80–95% adherent to a prescribed drug regimen to avoid poor health outcomes and the development of drug-resistant HIV strains. Clinicians generally monitor adherence habits indirectly through patient self-reporting, pill counting, and electronic drug monitoring. While direct measurement of patient samples like urine for monitoring drug levels is possible, it requires specialized equipment and training that is not readily available in resource-limited settings where the need is greatest. In this work we report the development of an antibody that binds to tenofovir (TFV), a key small molecule drug for both the treatment and prevention of HIV, and a competitive lateral flow assay that uses that antibody to monitor urine samples for the presence of the drug. TFV was conjugated to an immunogenic protein and injected into rabbits to raise polyclonal antibodies sensitive to the drug. The antibodies were verified for TFV-sensitivity by immunoprecipitation and HPLC. A gold nanoparticle-based competitive assay was developed to detect the presence of TFV in urine samples with a sensitivity of 1 μg mL−1. This TFV assay could be deployed as a point-of-care device for adherence monitoring in resource-limited settings as a low-cost, accurate, and speedy alternative to current methods to better inform changes in treatment.

Funding Agencies: NIH, BU CTSI