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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1998 Jul 20;14(11):963-72.

Evaluation of different V3 peptides in an enzyme immunoassay for specific HIV type 1 group O antibody detection.

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Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.


Strategies to discriminate group O from group M infections need to be improved. We have developed and evaluated an HIV-1 group O V3 peptide-based enzyme immunoassay (PEIA) for specific HIV-1 group O antibody detection among HIV-1-infected patients. Synthetic peptides, derived from the amino acid sequences of the V3 loop of 15 different group O strains and 7 group O consensus sequences, were evaluated in a PEIA against a panel of genetically confirmed group O (n = 33), group M (n = 90), and HIV-1 antibody-negative sera (n = 17). The best-performing PEIA(s) were then used to screen 134 sera of European and 336 sera of Cameroonian origin for the presence of anti-HIV-1 group O antibodies. The reactivity of reference ("gold standard") sera to individual peptides in the PEIA resulted in the selection of five different peptides with sensitivities (sens), specificities (spec), and test efficiencies (TEs) in the range of 90 to 100%. Improvement of the PEIA was obtained with simultaneous reactivity of at least two different peptides in separate wells of an ELISA plate, together with stringent criteria for positivity. We were able to select seven peptide combinations each with a sens, spec, and TE of 96.9, 100, and 99.2%, respectively. None of the 134 European and 4 (1.2%) of the 336 Cameroonian samples sera were group O positive in the optimized HIV-1 group O PEIA; this was confirmed by the repeated presence of reactives, in agreement with the present knowledge of group O infection distribution. Finally, we were able to develop a strategy with a higher TE (99.2%) than the previously used ANT-70 (98.5%) and ANT-70/MVP5180 (95.7%). Our results show that optimal specificity rather than optimal sensitivity makes the V3 PEIA a sufficiently accurate epidemiological tool to be useful in estimating specifically group O infection among HIV-1-infected patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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