Author(s): Plantier JC, Djemai M, Leme V, Reggiani A, Leoz M,
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Abstract Human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) have a high level of genetic diversity. The outlier variants of HIV type 1 (HIV-1) group O are distantly related to HIV-1 group M. Their divergence has an impact on serological diagnosis, with a risk of false-negative results. In this study, we report 20 failure cases, involving patients with primary or chronic infection, in France and Cameroon between 2001 and 2008. Our results indicate that some assays detected group O infection much less efficiently than others. Two major reasons for these false-negative results were identified: the presence or absence of a group O-specific antigen (and the designed sequence) for the detection of antibodies and the greater envelope variability of group O than of group M strains. This study highlights the complexity of screening for these divergent variants and the need to evaluate test performance with a large panel of strains, due to the extensive diversity of group O variants.
This article was published in J Clin Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals