Branched chain DNA bDNA assay

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branched DNA assay (bDNA test) A blood test developed by the Chiron Corporation that measures the amount of HIV, or other viruses, in blood plasma. The result is called the viral load. The test uses a signal amplification technique. This means the test creates a glowing signal that shows brightness depending on the amount of viral rna present. The test results are stated as virus particles per milliliter of plasma (number/ml). The result of the bDNA test is generally about half the number indicated by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which uses a different technique to measure viral load.

breakthrough infection An infection that is caused by an infectious agent although the person has been trying to avoid infection through a vaccine. The infection may be caused by exposure to the infectious agent during or shortly after the vaccination (as in varicella zoster) or before the completion of all doses of a vaccine (as in hepatitis b).

breakthrough pain Flare-ups of pain during an illness that are not controlled by a patient's pain medication. This term generally is used when a patient is on a long-acting or narcotic medication such as OxyContin. In these cases, shorter-acting

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