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

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
  • 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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