Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 405, Issue 30, pp 9641–9653 | Cite as

PCR-based detection of gene transfer vectors: application to gene doping surveillance

  • Irene C. Perez
  • Caroline Le Guiner
  • Weiyi Ni
  • Jennifer Lyles
  • Philippe Moullier
  • Richard O. SnyderEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Anti-doping Analysis


Athletes who illicitly use drugs to enhance their athletic performance are at risk of being banned from sports competitions. Consequently, some athletes may seek new doping methods that they expect to be capable of circumventing detection. With advances in gene transfer vector design and therapeutic gene transfer, and demonstrations of safety and therapeutic benefit in humans, there is an increased probability of the pursuit of gene doping by athletes. In anticipation of the potential for gene doping, assays have been established to directly detect complementary DNA of genes that are top candidates for use in doping, as well as vector control elements. The development of molecular assays that are capable of exposing gene doping in sports can serve as a deterrent and may also identify athletes who have illicitly used gene transfer for performance enhancement. PCR-based methods to detect foreign DNA with high reliability, sensitivity, and specificity include TaqMan real-time PCR, nested PCR, and internal threshold control PCR.


Nested PCR Real-time PCR Erythropoietin Gene transfer Internal threshold control PCR Vector 



This project was funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA; R.O.S. and P.M.), United States Anti-Doping Agency (R.O.S.), Partnership for Clean Competition (R.O.S.), and Agence Francaise de Lutte contre le Dopage (P.M.). This work was performed under a Cooperative Agreement between INSERM, AFM, L'Etablissement Francais du Sang, and the University of Florida Center of Excellence for Regenerative Health Biotechnology.

Conflict of interest

R.O.S. is an inventor on patents related to rAAV technology. R.O.S owns equity in a gene therapy company that is commercializing adeno-associated virus for gene therapy applications. To the extent that the work reported in this article increases the value of these commercial holdings, R.O.S. has a conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene C. Perez
    • 1
  • Caroline Le Guiner
    • 2
  • Weiyi Ni
    • 1
  • Jennifer Lyles
    • 1
  • Philippe Moullier
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard O. Snyder
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Genetics and MicrobiologyUniversity of Florida, College of MedicineGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Atlantic Gene Therapies, INSERM UMR 1089Université de Nantes, CHU de NantesNantesFrance
  3. 3.Center of Excellence for Regenerative Health BiotechnologyUniversity of FloridaAlachuaUSA

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