Journal of clinical virology : the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology

A peptide enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of human immunodeficiency virus type-2 (HIV-2) antibodies: an evaluation on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed samples.

PMID 11418351


HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections differ in prognosis, and may also require different prevention and/or treatment approaches. Thus, estimating the true prevalence of HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections, as well as co-infections, is a critical step in controlling the disease. There are a few commercial ELISA and immunoblot kits, which can differentiate between HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections. However, some of these assays overestimate the prevalence of dual infection. Hence, it is necessary to develop assays capable of discriminating between the two infections. To develop a synthetic HIV-2 env based peptide ELISA for the detection of HIV-2 specific antibodies and evaluate its performance on samples from HIV positive individuals previously tested by HIV-1 and HIV-2 PCR and HIV seronegative individuals. We studied 45 HIV seronegative and 63 HIV infected individuals, including 30 HIV-1 PCR and immunoblot positives, 19 HIV-2 PCR and immunoblot positives, five HIV-1 and two PCR and dual immunoblot positives, two PCR negative but positive for HIV-2 by immunoblot and seven dual immunoblot positives who were only positive for HIV-1 by PCR. All 24 HIV-2 PCR positive samples tested were positive by the peptide assay. Among 30 HIV-1 PCR and immunoblot positive samples, only one (3.3%) showed an absorbance value above the cut off level. The seven dual positive samples by immunoblot (only positive for HIV-1 by PCR) were negative by the HIV-2 peptide ELISA. There was a 100% concordance between HIV-2 PCR and peptide ELISA. The sensitivity, specificity, and the likelihood ratio for the peptide ELISA were 100,94.9, and 19.5, respectively when compared against the PCR findings. This ELISA, using a specific immunodominant epitope (11 amino acids) from the transmembrane (gp36) portion of the HIV-2 envelope glycoprotein showed a high concordance with PCR findings. This can be considered as a highly sensitive, specific and economically feasible assay for the discrimination of HIV-1 and HIV-2, and may serve as an alternative to HIV-2 PCR in epidemiological studies.

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