Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Virol. 2011 Dec;52 Suppl 1:S23-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2011.09.020. Epub 2011 Oct 12.

Comparison of alternative interpretive criteria for the HIV-1 Western blot and results of the Multispot HIV-1/HIV-2 Rapid Test for classifying HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections.

Author information

  • 1Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop E46, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



HIV-1 Western blot (WB) may be positive in specimens from persons with HIV-2 infection due to cross-reactive antibodies. HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections may be identified using assays designed to differentiate HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibody reactivity.


To evaluate the ability of the current CDC WB criteria, alternative more stringent HIV-1 WB criteria (2 env plus one gag or pol band) and the Multispot HIV-1/HIV-2 Rapid Test to accurately differentiate HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections.


Two panels were used to determine the ability of each method to properly classify HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections: an HIV-2 panel (n=114) determined to be HIV-2 antibody-positive by both Multispot and by a validated HIV-2 WB, and 2135 HIV-1/HIV-2 immunoassay repeatedly reactive (IA-RR) specimens from the New York State Department of Health Laboratory (NYS).


By CDC WB criteria, 53 (46.5%) HIV-2 panel specimens were HIV-1 WB positive, 60 (52.6%) were indeterminate, and 1 (0.9%) was negative; the alternative WB criteria re-classified 75.5% of the positives as indeterminate. Among 2135 NYS IA-RR specimens, the alternative WB criteria increased the proportion of indeterminates by 0.8%. Only 6 (0.3%) of the NYS specimens were determined to be HIV-2 infections; all 6 were classified either as HIV-1 positive or indeterminate by both WB criteria, but were classified as HIV-2 (n=4) or HIV-1/2 undifferentiated (n=2) by Multispot.


The alternative WB criteria classified most of the HIV-2 specimens that were HIV-1 positive by CDC criteria as indeterminate, but also slightly increased the proportion of HIV-1 specimens classified as indeterminate. The WB indeterminate specimens would require further testing or follow-up to resolve the infection status, whereas Multispot directly distinguished HIV-1 from HIV-2.

Published by Elsevier B.V.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk