Aids Testing

Graeme Price g.e.price at bham.ac.uk
Sun Sep 10 08:58:10 EST 1995


In article <Pine.SGI.3.91.950910010033.8358C-100000 at server.uwindsor.ca>,
Julia Paonessa <paoness at server.uwindsor.ca> wrote:

> Hello, I have a few questions on present day AIDS testing.  I also posted 
> this message on bionet.molbio.hiv.  
> 
> Is there a certain blood concentration of HIV that must be reached before 
> the test will give a positive result?
> 
> I read in PROMED that, during the recent outbreak of Ebola in Zaire, they 
> were testing blood serum from patients with a dipstick test for AIDS.
> 
> Thank-you for your time
> 
> Julia Paonessa
> email: paoness at server.uwindsor.ca

When I was working in a hospital virology lab a few years ago, all the
screening for HIV in serum was by antibody detection (i.e. looking for
specific Ab to HIV) using the Behring anti-HIV 1+2 ELISA kit. Checking
with the protocol sheet (like many scientists I never throw anything
away), the plate was coated with synthetic (recombinant?) peptides from
the immunoreactive regions of gp41 (2 from HIV-1, 1 from HIV-2) and gp120
(HIV-1). Unfortunately there is not data on the sheets I have about
minimum concentrations of Ab which the ELISA will pick up. We also used a
second test (manufactured by Abbott) to detect p24 antigen in known
positive patients as a marker of disease progress. p24 (core) antigen
rises in proportion to viral load and hence is a marker (although I'm not
sure how good) for the onset of full blown AIDS. The p24 kit was much more
expensive than the anti-HIV kit though.

All this is old knowledge (3 years or so) I've tried to dig up as best I
can, I'm afraid. At the moment I have nothing to do with diagnostic
virology (or HIV/AIDS at all), but I guess things haven't really changed
that much since then.

Graeme

-- 
Graeme Price
Microbial Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology Group, 
School of Biological Sciences, Biology West Building,
University of Birmingham,
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
West Midlands, B15 2TT.
United Kingdom.

Tel. (+44) (0)121 414 6555
Fax. (+44) (0)121 414 6557
E-mail g.e.price at bham.ac.uk



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