Performance of two commercial immunochromatographic assays for rapid detection of antibodies specific to human immunodeficiency virus types 1 and 2 in serum and urine samples in a rural community-based research setting (Rakai, Uganda)

S. C. Kagulire, P. D. Stamper, P. Opendi, J. L. Nakavuma, L. A. Mills, F. Makumbi, R. H. Gray, D. Serwadda, S. J. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Rapid detection of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibodies is of great importance in developing and developed countries to diagnose HIV infections quickly and at low cost. In this study, two new immunochromatographic rapid tests for the detection of HIV antibodies (Aware HIV-1/2 BSP and Aware HIV-1/2 U; Calypte Biomedical Corporation) were evaluated in rural Africa to determine the tests' performance and comparability to commercially available conventional enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and Western blot (WB) tests. This prospective study was conducted from March 2005 through May 2005 using serum and urine from respondents in the Rakai Community Cohort Survey. Nine hundred sixty-three serum samples were tested with the Aware blood rapid assay (Aware-BSP) and compared to two independent EIAs for HIV plus confirmatory Calypte WB for any positive EIAs. The sensitivity of Aware-BSP was 98.2%, and the specificity was 99.8%. Nine hundred forty-two urine samples were run using the Aware urine assay (Aware-U) and linked to blood sample results for analysis. The sensitivity of Aware-U was 88.7% and specificity was 99.9% compared to blood EIAs confirmed by WB analysis. These results support the adoption of the Aware-BSP rapid test as an alternative to EIA and WB assays for the diagnosis of HIV in resource-limited settings. However, the low sensitivity of the Aware-U assay with its potential for falsely negative HIV results makes the urine assay less satisfactory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-740
Number of pages3
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)

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