Detection of salivary HIV-1-specific IgG antibodies in high-risk populations in zaire

Frieda M. Behets, Bazepeyo Edidi, Thomas C. Quinn, Limbaya Atikala, Kagoyire Bishagara, Nzilambi Nzila, Marie Laga, Peter Piot, Robert W. Ryder, Christopher C. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Saliva and blood samples were tested for human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) antibodies in two high-risk populations in Kinshasa, Zaire. In a seroprevalence study of 458 sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic attendees, 142 of 145 seropositive individuals had enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-positive saliva samples (97.9% sensitivity). All saliva samples from seronegative patients were ELISA-negative (100% specificity). Of the 142 ELISA-positive saliva specimens, 137 were also Western blot-positive (94.5% sensitivity). In a subsequent seroincidence study of 315 initially seronegative female prostitutes followed during 183 woman-years of observation, 9 of 14 women who seroconverted (7.7% seroincidence) had ELISA-positive saliva samples at the time seroconversion was detected. Only three of these saliva specimens could be confirmed by Western blot. Although salivary testing for HIV-1 antibodies using conventional assays was not sensitive in detecting recent seroconversions, screening of salivary samples for HIV-1 antibody provides a convenient alternative method for conducting seroprevalence surveys in populations in whom venipuncture is not possible or convenient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-187
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV 1-specific IgG antibodies
  • Kinshasa
  • Saliva
  • Seroincidence
  • Seroprevalence
  • Western blot
  • Zaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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  • Cite this

    Behets, F. M., Edidi, B., Quinn, T. C., Atikala, L., Bishagara, K., Nzila, N., Laga, M., Piot, P., Ryder, R. W., & Brown, C. C. (1991). Detection of salivary HIV-1-specific IgG antibodies in high-risk populations in zaire. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes, 4(2), 183-187.