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1.  HIV Testing in a High-Incidence Population: Is Antibody Testing Alone Good Enough? 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended the expansion of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody testing. However, antibody tests have longer “window periods” after HIV acquisition than do nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs).
Public Health–Seattle & King County offered HIV antibody testing to men who have sex with men (MSM) using the OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test (OraQuick; OraSure Technologies) on oral fluid or finger-stick blood specimens or using a first- or second-generation enzyme immunoassay. The enzyme immunoassay was also used to confirm reactive rapid test results and to screen specimens from OraQuick-negative MSM prior to pooling for HIV NAAT. Serum specimens obtained from subsets of HIV-infected persons were retrospectively evaluated by use of other HIV tests, including a fourth-generation antigen-antibody combination assay.
From September 2003 through June 2008, a total of 328 (2.3%) of 14,005 specimens were HIV antibody positive, and 36 (0.3%) of 13,677 antibody-negative specimens were NAAT positive (indicating acute HIV infection). Among 6811 specimens obtained from MSM who were initially screened by rapid testing, OraQuick detected only 153 (91%) of 169 antibody-positive MSM and 80% of the 192 HIV-infected MSM detected by the HIV NAAT program. HIV was detected in serum samples obtained from 15 of 16 MSM with acute HIV infection that were retrospectively tested using the antigen-antibody combination assay.
OraQuick may be less sensitive than enzyme immunoassays during early HIV infection. NAAT should be integrated into HIV testing programs that serve populations that undergo frequent testing and that have high rates of HIV acquisition, particularly if rapid HIV antibody testing is employed. Antigen-antibody combination assays may be a reasonably sensitive alternative to HIV NAAT.
PMCID: PMC3361648  PMID: 19538088
2.  Detection of Individuals with Acute HIV-1 Infection using the ARCHITECT® HIV Ag/Ab Combo Assay 
We evaluated use of the ARCHITECT® HIV Ag/Ab Combo assay (HIV Combo; Abbott Diagnostics; available for sale outside of the U.S. only) for detection of acute HIV infection.
Samples were obtained from a behavioral intervention study (EXPLORE). HIV-uninfected men who have sex with men were enrolled and tested for HIV infection every 6 months. Samples from seroconverters collected at their last seronegative visit (n=217) were tested individually using two HIV RNA assays. Samples with detectable HIV RNA were classified as acute and were tested with HIV Combo. Samples from the enrollment visit (n=83) and the time of HIV seroconversion (n=219) were tested with HIV Combo as controls.
Twenty-one (9.7%) samples from the last seronegative visit had detectable HIV RNA and were classified as acute. HIV Combo was positive for 13 (61.9%) of the acute samples. Samples not detected by HIV Combo had viral loads of 724 to 15,130 copies/ml. Expected results were obtained for positive and negative controls tested with HIV Combo.
HIV Combo detected nearly two-thirds of acute HIV infections identified in this high-risk population by non-pooled, HIV RNA assays. HIV Combo may be useful for high-throughput screening to identify individuals with acute HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC2744045  PMID: 19506484
acute infection; HIV-1; HIV Ag/Ab Combo assay
3.  Analysis of pol Integrase Sequences in Diverse HIV Type 1 Strains Using a Prototype Genotyping Assay 
A prototype assay was used to genotype integrase (IN) from 120 HIV-1- infected IN inhibitor-naive adults from Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, South Africa, Thailand, and Uganda. Subtype designations based on analysis of pol IN sequences were A (14), B (15), C (12), D (11), F (12), G (7), H (1), CRF01_AE (9), CRF02_AG (34), CRF22_01A1 (4), and CRF37_cpx (1). Ten (8.3%) of 120 samples had mutations associated with reduced susceptibility to the IN inhibitors, raltegravir and elvitegravir. Two samples had E92Q (both subtype B) and eight had E157Q (2A, 1C, 1D, 1F, 3 CRF02_AG). Some samples had other mutations selected by these drugs including T97A, and some had amino acid polymorphisms at positions associated with raltegravir and elvitegravir resistance. Mutations associated with other investigational HIV IN inhibitors were also identified. This suggests that HIV strains may vary in their natural susceptibility to HIV IN inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC2853838  PMID: 19327053
4.  Impact of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) Genetic Diversity on Performance of Four Commercial Viral Load Assays: LCx HIV RNA Quantitative, AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR v1.5, VERSANT HIV-1 RNA 3.0, and NucliSens HIV-1 QT 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(8):3860-3868.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) evolution and changing strain distribution present a challenge to nucleic acid-based assays. Reliable patient monitoring of viral loads requires the detection and accurate quantification of genetically diverse HIV-1. A panel of 97 HIV-1-seropositive plasma samples collected from Cameroon, Brazil, and South Africa was used to compare the performance of four commercially available HIV RNA quantitative tests: Abbott LCx HIV RNA Quantitative assay (LCx), Bayer Versant HIV-1 RNA 3.0 (bDNA), Roche AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR v1.5 (Monitor v1.5), and bioMérieux NucliSens HIV-1 QT (NucliSens). The panel included group M, group O, and recombinant viruses based on sequence analysis of gag p24, pol integrase, and env gp41. The LCx HIV assay quantified viral RNA in 97 (100%) of the samples. In comparison, bDNA, Monitor v1.5, and NucliSens quantified viral RNA in 96.9%, 94.8%, and 88.6% of the samples, respectively. The two group O specimens were quantified only by the LCx HIV assay. Analysis of nucleotide mismatches at the primer/probe binding sites for Monitor v1.5, NucliSens, and LCx assays revealed that performance characteristics reflected differences in the level of genetic conservation within the target regions.
PMCID: PMC1233972  PMID: 16081923
5.  Performance of the Celera Diagnostics ViroSeq HIV-1 Genotyping System for Sequence-Based Analysis of Diverse Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Strains 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(6):2711-2717.
The Celera Diagnostics ViroSeq HIV-1 Genotyping System is a Food and Drug Administration-cleared, integrated system for sequence-based analysis of drug resistance mutations in subtype B human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease and reverse transcriptase (RT). We evaluated the performance of this system for the analysis of diverse HIV-1 strains. Plasma samples were obtained from 126 individuals from Uganda, Cameroon, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, and Thailand with viral loads ranging from 2.92 to >6.0 log10 copies/ml. HIV-1 genotyping was performed with the ViroSeq system. HIV-1 subtyping was performed by using phylogenetic methods. PCR products suitable for sequencing were obtained for 125 (99%) of the 126 samples. Genotypes including protease (amino acids 1 to 99) and RT (amino acids 1 to 321) were obtained for 124 (98%) of the samples. Full bidirectional sequence data were obtained for 95 of those samples. The sequences were categorized into the following subtypes: A1/A2 (16 samples), B (12 samples), C (13 samples), D (11 samples), CRF01_AE (9 samples), F/F2 (9 samples), G (7 samples), CRF02_AG (32 samples), H (1 sample), and intersubtype recombinant (14 samples). The performances of the individual sequencing primers were examined. Genotyping of duplicate samples in a second laboratory was successful for 124 of the 126 samples. The identity level for the sequence data from two laboratories ranged from 98 to 100% (median, 99.8%). The ViroSeq system performs well for the analysis of plasma samples with diverse non-B subtypes. The availability of this genotyping system should facilitate studies of HIV-1 drug resistance in non-subtype B strains of HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC427844  PMID: 15184457
6.  Seven Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Antigen-Antibody Combination Assays: Evaluation of HIV Seroconversion Sensitivity and Subtype Detection 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(9):3122-3128.
In this study, we evaluated the performance of two prototype human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antigen-antibody (Ag-Ab) combination assays, one from Abbott Laboratories (AxSYM HIV Ag-Ab) and the other from bioMerieux (VIDAS HIV Duo Ultra), versus five combination assays commercially available in Europe. The assays were Enzygnost HIV Integral, Genscreen Plus HIV Ag-Ab, Murex HIV Ag-Ab Combination, VIDAS HIV Duo, and Vironostika HIV Uniform II Ag-Ab. All assays were evaluated for the ability to detect p24 antigen from HIV-1 groups M and O, antibody-positive plasma samples from HIV-1 groups M and O, HIV-2, and 19 HIV seroconversion panels. Results indicate that although all combination assays can detect antibodies to HIV-1, group M, subtypes A to G, circulating recombinant form (CRF) A/E, and HIV-1 group O, their sensitivity varied considerably when tested using diluted HIV-1 group O and HIV-2 antibody-positive samples. Among combination assays, the AxSYM, Murex, and VIDAS HIV Duo Ultra assays exhibited the best antigen sensitivity (at ∼25 pg of HIV Ag/ml) for detection of HIV-1 group M, subtypes A to G and CRF A/E, and HIV-1 group O isolates. However, the VIDAS HIV Duo Ultra assay had a lower sensitivity for HIV-1 group M and subtype C, and was unable to detect subtype C antigen even at 125 pg of HIV Ag/ml. The HIV antigen sensitivity of the VIDAS HIV Duo and Genscreen Plus combination assays was ∼125 pg of HIV Ag/ml for detection of all HIV-1 group M isolates except HIV-1 group O while the sensitivity of Vironostika HIV Uniform II Ag-Ab and Enzygnost HIV Integral Ag-Ab assays for all the group M subtypes was >125 pg of HIV Ag/ml. Among the combination assays, the AxSYM assay had the best performance for detection of early seroconversion samples, followed by the Murex and VIDAS HIV Duo Ultra assays.
PMCID: PMC88307  PMID: 11526139
7.  Comparative Performance of Three Viral Load Assays on Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) Isolates Representing Group M (Subtypes A to G) and Group O: LCx HIV RNA Quantitative, AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR Version 1.5, and Quantiplex HIV-1 RNA Version 3.0 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(3):862-870.
The performance of the LCx HIV RNA Quantitative (LCx HIV), AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR version 1.5 (MONITOR v1.5), and Quantiplex HIV-1 RNA version 3.0 (bDNA v3.0) viral load assays was evaluated with 39 viral isolates (3 A, 7 B, 6 C, 4 D, 8 E, 4 F, 1 G, 4 mosaic, and 2 group O). Quantitation across the assay dynamic ranges was assessed using serial fivefold dilutions of the viruses. In addition, sequences of gag-encoded p24 (gag p24), pol-encoded integrase, and env-encoded gp41 were analyzed to assign group and subtype and to assess nucleotide mismatches at primer and probe binding sites. For group M isolates, quantification was highly correlated among all three assays. In contrast, only the LCx HIV assay reliably quantified group O isolates. The bDNA v3.0 assay detected but consistently underquantified group O viruses, whereas the MONITOR v1.5 test failed to detect group O viruses. Analysis of target regions revealed fewer primer or probe mismatches in the LCx HIV assay than in the MONITOR v1.5 test. Consistent with the high level of nucleotide conservation is the ability of the LCx HIV assay to quantify efficiently human immunodeficiency virus type 1 group M and the genetically diverse group O.
PMCID: PMC87842  PMID: 11230396
8.  Rapid Assay for Simultaneous Detection and Differentiation of Immunoglobulin G Antibodies to Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) Group M, HIV-1 Group O, and HIV-2 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1998;36(12):3657-3661.
A rapid immunodiagnostic test that detects and discriminates human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections on the basis of viral type, HIV type 1 (HIV-1) group M, HIV-1 group O, or HIV-2, was developed. The rapid assay for the detection of HIV (HIV rapid assay) was designed as an instrument-free chromatographic immunoassay that detects immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to HIV. To assess the performance of the HIV rapid assay, 470 HIV-positive plasma samples were tested by PCR and/or Western blotting to confirm the genotype of the infecting virus. These samples were infected with strains that represented a wide variety of HIV strains including HIV-1 group M (subtypes A through G), HIV-1 group O, and HIV-2 (subtypes A and B). The results showed that the HIV genotype identity established by the rapid assay reliably (469 of 470 samples) correlates with the HIV genotype identity established by PCR or Western blotting. A total of 879 plasma samples were tested for IgG to HIV by a licensed enzyme immunoassay (EIA) (470 HIV-positive samples and 409 HIV-negative samples). When they were tested by the rapid assay, 469 samples were positive and 410 were negative (99.88% agreement). Twelve seroconversion panels were tested by both the rapid assay and a licensed EIA. For nine panels identical results were obtained by the two assays. For the remaining three panels, the rapid assay was positive one bleed later in comparison to the bleed at which the EIA was positive. One hundred three urine samples, including 93 urine samples from HIV-seropositive individuals and 10 urine samples from seronegative individuals, were tested by the rapid assay. Ninety-one of the ninety-three urine samples from HIV-seropositive individuals were found to be positive by the rapid assay. There were no false-positive results (98.05% agreement). Virus in all urine samples tested were typed as HIV-1 group M. These results suggest that a rapid assay based on the detection of IgG specific for selected transmembrane HIV antigens provides a simple and reliable test that is capable of distinguishing HIV infections on the basis of viral type.
PMCID: PMC105258  PMID: 9817891

Results 1-8 (8)