Journal Article

A Reverse Transcriptase Assay for Early Diagnosis of Infant HIV Infection in Resource-limited Settings

Sumathi Sivapalasingam, Usha Patel, Vincenza Itri, Maura Laverty, Kishorchandra Mandaliya, Fred Valentine and Shaffiq Essajee

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 53, issue 5, pages 355-358
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/fmm032
A Reverse Transcriptase Assay for Early Diagnosis of Infant HIV Infection in Resource-limited Settings

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Early diagnosis of pediatric HIV infection is confounded by persistence of maternal antibodies until 18 months, necessitating the use of expensive assays such as HIV-1 DNA PCR, an untenable option in resource-limited settings. This is the first report of a low-cost, commercial, reverse transcriptase (RT) assay for the diagnosis of HIV-1 infection in infants. RT assays were performed on 42 samples from 30 HIV-exposed Kenyan infants under 15 months of age. When correlated with serologic testing conducted after 18 months, the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of the RT assay were 92%, 93%, 87% and 96%. A low-cost assay for infant HIV diagnosis is urgently needed, and these results merit further evaluation.

Keywords: HIV; reverse transcriptase; diagnosis; infant; Africa.

Journal Article.  2109 words. 

Subjects: Paediatrics

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