The effect of sample handling on cross sectional HIV incidence testing results

Oliver Laeyendecker, Amanda Latimore, Susan H. Eshleman, Jean Summerton, Amy E. Oliver, Jordyn Gamiel, Trudy Dobbs, Joanne Mei, Gary Murphy, John V. Parry, S. Michele Owen, Thomas C. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective(s): To determine if mishandling prior to testing would make a sample from a chronically infected subject appear recently infected when tested by cross-sectional HIV incidence assays. Methods: Serum samples from 31 subjects with chronic HIV infection were tested. Samples were subjected to different handling conditions, including incubation at 4°C, 25°C and 37°C, for 1, 3, 7 or 15 days prior to testing. Samples were also subjected to 1,3, 7 and 15 freeze-thaw cycles prior to testing. Samples were tested using the BED capture enzyme immuno assay (BED-CEIA), Vironostika-less sensitive (V-LS), and an avidity assay using the Genetic Systems HIV-1/HIV-2 plus O EIA (avidity assay). Results: Compared to the sample that was not subjected to any mishandling conditions, for the BED-CEIA, V-LS and avidity assay, there was no significant change in test results for samples incubated at 4°C or 25°C prior to testing. No impact on test results occurred after 15 freeze-thaw cycles. A decrease in assay results was observed when samples were held for 3 days or longer at 37°C prior to testing. Conclusions: Samples can be subjected up to 15 freeze-thaw cycles without affecting the results the BED-CEIA, Vironostika-LS, or avidity assays. Storing samples at 4°C or 25°C for up to fifteen days prior to testing had no impact on test results. However, storing samples at 37°C for three or more days did affect results obtained with these assays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere25899
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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