Evaluation of rapid enzyme immunobinding assays for the detection of antibodies to HIV-l
Three rapid enzyme immunobinding assays, Abbott's TestPack HIV-1/HIV-2, Clonatec's Rapid HIV-1/HIV-2 AB and the DuPont HIVCHEK 1+2, were evaluated using a panel of 20 selected sera with Western blot-proven reactivity to at least one envelope glycoprotein of HIV-1. The Abbott assay had the highest sensitivity and detected 18 of the 20 sera with no indetermlinates (i.e. specimens with high background coloration which interferes with interpretation of the assay). Both the Clonatec and DuPont rapid assays correctly identified 12 sera as HIV-1 antibody-positive; the former produced 5 false-negatives and 3 indetertninates and the latter 7 false-negatives and 1 indeterminate. The majority of the sera used in the evaluation showed evidence of early seroconversion as many had low absorbance ratios in a screening enzyme immunosorbent assay. Although they represent only a small portion of clinical specimens, they point to the need for careful evaluation of new methodologies, using appropriate, well-characterised sera, before such techniques are accepted for general use.
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