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Low avidity antibody: a reliable method to diagnose a recent HIV-1 infection.

Abstract
Standard serological tests (both EIA and Immunoblotting) have reached high levels of sensitivity and reproducibility, but do not indicate whether infection is recent or longstanding. Since many patients with HIV-1 infection are not usually diagnosed until symptom presentation, the possibility to distinguish between acute and chronic infection has become increasingly important for the purposes of therapeutic decision-making, partner notification and epidemiological surveillance. We evaluated a guanidine-based-antibody-avidity assay in a selected group of recent (within six months from seroconversion) and chronic (more than forty eight months) HIV-1 infections in an attempt to shed more light on the significance of the avidity index in establishing the time of infection. Sera from newly infected individuals showed a low mean avidity index (ranging from 0.35 to 0.60 with a standard deviation 0.09) at baseline and a clear increasing value at the following times of observation. Our data showed that an avidity index <0.70 might be presumptive of infection occurring within 9 months. Avidity index levels might distinguish between acute and chronic infection. The method is semi-automated, inexpensive and easy to perform, and estimates the time elapsed from seroconversion, thereby identifying a recent infection.
AuthorsMaria Carla Re, Pasqua Schiavone, Francesca Vitone, Isabella Bon, Elisa De Crignis, Carlo Biagetti, Federica Alessandrini, Davide Gibellini
JournalThe new microbiologica (New Microbiol) Vol. 31 Issue 1 Pg. 19-26 (Jan 2008) ISSN: 1121-7138 [Print] Italy
PMID18437838 (Publication Type: Evaluation Studies, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • HIV Antibodies
Topics
  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Female
  • HIV Antibodies (blood)
  • HIV Infections (diagnosis, virology)
  • HIV Seropositivity
  • HIV-1 (immunology)
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged

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