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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2000 Jul;7(4):698-9.

Diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection with different subtypes using rapid tests.

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  • 1HIV Immunology and Diagnostics Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


We evaluated six rapid tests for their sensitivity and specificity in diagnosing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection using 241 specimens (172 HIV-1 positive, 69 HIV-1 negative) representing different HIV-1 subtypes (A [n = 40], B [n = 47], C [n = 28], E [n = 42], and F [n = 7]). HIVCHEK, Multispot, RTD and SeroStrip were 100% sensitive and specific. Capillus failed to identify two of eight subtype C specimens (overall sensitivity of 98. 85%), while the SUDS test (the only test approved by the Food and Drug Administration) gave false-positive results for 5 of 69 seronegative specimens (specificity of 93.24%). Our results suggest that although rapid tests perform well in general, it may be prudent to evaluate a rapid test for sensitivity and specificity in a local population prior to its widespread use.

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