Resource Logo
CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

Detection of HIV in Specimens From Newborn Screening Programs


New England Journal of Medicine (06/18/92) Vol. 326, No. 25, P. 1703

Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detecting HIV infection can make early identification of HIV-positive infants possible, write Anne Marie Comeau et al. of the New England Regional Newborn Screening Program in Jamaica Plain, Mass. PCR was used for HIV detection in dried blood filter-paper specimens to study a set of dried blood spots obtained routinely from newborns at a median age of three days. Specimens from 42 children born from 1986 to 1990 were retrieved and their infections are now known. Testing was conducted blindly on samples from 42 children with HIV infection and 77 presumably uninfected children whose blood spots had been stored in physical contact with those from infected children. The specificity of PCR results was confirmed by negative results in all the specimens from the 77 uninfected children. HIV proviral DNA was found in samples from 8 of 11 infants who died of AIDS and in samples from 14 of the total of 21 infants in whom AIDS developed by the age of 18 months. Among the other 21 infants, whose disease progression was slower, 9 had newborn specimens that were positive on PCR. Infants with rapid disease progression were the most likely to have newborn specimens that were positive on PCR, but even among the infants with slower disease progression, 43 percent could be identified by birth.


Copyright © 1992 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in June 18, 1992. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.