The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Western blotting (immunoblotting) band patterns and the sensitivity of an HIV-1 DNA PCR assay were determined by testing the blood of patients with AIDS. Plasma and cell pellets processed from the peripheral blood of 199 patients with absolute CD4 cell counts of less than 200 cells per mm3 were tested by a licensed enzyme immunoassay (EIA; Abbott HIV-1) and Western blot assay (Cambridge-Biotech) for HIV-1 antibody. The Roche HIV-1 AMPLICOR DNA PCR assay was used to test cell pellets from 125 of the 199 patients for HIV-1 gag DNA sequences. All plasma samples from these 199 sequential patients were reactive for HIV-1 antibody by EIA and were positive by Western blot assay using the criteria recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority of samples (192 of 199; 96.5%) displayed at least six of nine blinds characteristic of the virus by Western blotting, with the lowest number of bands characteristic of the virus displayed by any sample being three. However, 39 and 48% of all patients exhibited no bands to p17 and p55 antigens, respectively, whereas 0 to 7.5% of all patients exhibited no bands to the other antigens. HIV-1 gag DNA sequences were detected in 117 (93.6%) of 125 cell pellets processed from the peripheral blood of these same patients. All eight patients initially negative by PCR tested positive when a second pellet which had been produced from the same blood sample was tested. Despite a decrease in antibody reactivity to HIV Gag and Pol proteins, patients with advanced HIV-1 infection remained positive for HIV-1 antibody by EIA and Western blot testing. Confirmation by the HIV-1 Western blot assay still appears to be the more sensitive assay for the diagnosis of HIV-1 infection in those individuals with advanced HIV-1 infection in the United States.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of clinical microbiology|
|State||Published - May 1997|