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Laboratory Diagnosis of HIV Infection

Serologic Tests for HIV Infection in US

Slide 4

October 2009

Currently in the United States, here are the serologic tests that are commercially available for detection of HIV infection. The most widely used are the ELISA assays, the enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays, which can come in the form of enzyme immunoassay or chemoluminescent immunoassay. They can detect either HIV-1 antibodies, or HIV-2 antibodies, or HIV-1 p24 antigen, or a combination of HIV-1 and -2; and then lastly the fourth generation serologic test is a combination of antibody and p24 antigen.

These are actually in clinical trials in the United States, but they are commercially available in Europe and other parts of the world. Then, the other serologic tests that are also used, particularly in resource-poor countries, as well as some urgent point-of-care testing facilities in the United States, are the rapid HIV antibody tests.

And, basically, there are 2 methods, the immunochromatography method, as well as the membrane immunoconcentration method. These rapid test devices are available to detect either HIV-1 antibodies alone, HIV-2 antibodies alone, or a combination of HIV-1 and -2 antibodies. Then the final group of serologic tests are the so-called supplemental tests, also known as confirmatory tests for HIV-1 and -2 antibodies. And there are essentially 2 methods that are commercially available: one is the Western blot and the other is the Immunoblot. Please note that the HIV-2 antibody tests by Western blot or Immunoblot are currently not yet FDA approved for diagnostic use.

Serologic Tests for HIV


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