Next-generation Viral RNA/DNA in situ Hybridization Applications in Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Research

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


In situ hybridization is a powerful technique to identify specific RNA or DNA sequences within individual cells in tissue sections, providing important insights into physiological processes and disease pathogenesis. In situ hybridization (ISH) has been used for many years to assess the location of cells infected by viruses, but recently a next-generation ISH approach was developed with a unique probe design strategy that allows simultaneous signal amplification and background suppression to achieve single-molecule visualization while preserving tissue morphology. This next-generation ISH is based on an approach like branched PCR, but performed in situ and is more facile, sensitive, and reproducible than classical ISH methods or in situ PCR approaches in routinely detecting RNA or DNA in formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues. For the last several years our laboratory has been applying this ISH platform for the detection of human immunodeficiency (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency (SIV) viral RNA (vRNA) and/or viral DNA (vDNA) positive cells within a multitude of FFPE tissues. With this detailed technical manuscript, we would like to share our knowledge and advice with all individuals interested in using next-generation ISH in their research.