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J Virol Methods. 2000 Nov;90(2):153-65.

Shortening of the diagnostic window with a new combined HIV p24 antigen and anti-HIV-1/2/O screening test.

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Dade Behring Marburg GmbH, Marburg, Germany.


Because antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are absent in the very early phase of HIV infection, there remains a slight residual risk for HIV transmission by blood donations by viremic but antibody negative donations. To shorten the diagnostic window between infection and the detection of antibodies, Enzygnost HIV Integral (Dade Behring, Germany) was developed. With this new test, HIV p24 antigen and HIV antibodies can be detected simultaneously in a single test. In a multicenter study the new screening assay has been compared with various tests that detect only HIV antibodies or HIV p24 antigen and with assays which permit a simultaneous detection of HIV antigen and HIV antibodies. The new assay showed 100% sensitivity for the detection of antibodies to HIV-1, groups M (n=1102) and O (n=55), and HIV-2 (n=289). In 23 out of 52 seroconversion panels, seroconversion was detected 2-18 days earlier with the new combined antigen/antibody test compared to single antibody tests. All samples from a viral load panel (n=451), all samples containing p24 antigen (n=302), and all but one of the cell culture supernatants (n=38) infected with various HIV-1 subtypes or HIV-2 were identified reliably by the new test. The specificity of the assay for 4002 unselected blood donors was 99.78% initially and 99.80% after retesting. Potentially interfering factors had no systematic influence on specificity. By testing for p24 antigen, which is present prior to the onset of antibody production in some cases of recent HIV infection, the new assay reduces the diagnostic window as compared to third generation screening assays, thus permitting an earlier diagnosis of HIV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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