Open Access Correspondence

The Spanish HIV BioBank: a model of cooperative HIV research

Isabel García-Merino12, Natividad de las Cuevas12, José Luis Jiménez12, Jorge Gallego12, Coral Gómez12, Cristina Prieto12, Ma Jesús Serramía12, Raquel Lorente12, Ma Ángeles Muñoz-Fernández12* and Spanish HIV BioBank12

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratorio de Inmunobiología Molecular, Plataforma de Laboratorio, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain

2 Unidad Asociada de Retrovirologia Humana, HGUG-CSIC, Madrid, Spain

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Retrovirology 2009, 6:27  doi:10.1186/1742-4690-6-27

Published: 9 March 2009

Abstract

Background

The collection of samples from HIV-infected patients is the beginning of the chain of translational research. To carry out quality research that could eventually end in a personalized treatment for HIV, it is essential to guarantee the availability, quality and traceability of samples, under a strict system of quality management.

Methods

The Spanish HIV BioBank was created with the objectives of processing, storing and providing distinct samples from HIV/AIDS patients, categorized according to strictly defined characteristics, free of charge to research projects. Strict compliance to ethical norms is always guaranteed.

Results

At the moment, the HIV BioBank possesses nearly 50,000 vials containing different prospective longitudinal study sample types. More than 1,700 of these samples are now used in 19 national and international research projects.

Conclusion

The HIV BioBank represents a novel approach to HIV research that might be of general interest not only for basic and clinical research teams working on HIV, but also for those groups trying to establish large networks focused on research on specific clinical problems. It also represents a model to stimulate cooperative research among large numbers of research groups working as a network on specific clinical problems. The main objective of this article is to show the structure and function of the HIV BioBank that allow it to very efficiently release samples to different research project not only in Spain but also in other countries.