Identifying the early post-HIV antibody seroconversion period

Frederick M. Hecht, Robert Wellman, Michael P. Busch, Christopher D. Pilcher, Philip J. Norris, Joseph B. Margolick, Ann C. Collier, Susan J. Little, Martin Markowitz, Jean Pierre Routy, Sarah Holte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. Identifying persons with recent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody seroconversion is useful for treatment, research, and prevention, but the sensitivity and specificity of tests for this purpose are uncertain. Methods. We used longitudinal specimens panels from 155 persons identified prior to HIV seroconversion to assess antibody-based methods for classifying persons as within 30, 60, or 90 days of seroconversion, including 2 incidence assays, a less-sensitive (LS) enzyme immunoassay (EIA), and the BED assay. Results. Sensitivity and specificity, respectively, for identifying persons within 30 days of seroconversion were: 34%-57% and 98%-100% for 2 standard EIAs (employing a signal-to-cutoff ≤4.0; ≥1.0 defines HIV positive), 84% and 73% for the LS-EIA (≤0.2 cutoff), 88% and 72% for the BED (≤0.2 cutoff), and 43%-58% and 98% (≤3 bands) for 2 Western blot (WB) assays. By area under the receiver operator curves, the best test for identifying persons within 30 days of seroconversion was the number of bands on the Bio-Rad WB (0.90); within 60 days, the LS-EIA and BED (both 0.85); and for persons within 90 days the BED (0.86). Conclusions. Standard EIAs, Western blots, and HIV incidence assays provide useful information for identifying persons 30 to 90 days after seroconversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-533
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume204
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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