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Detection of human immunodeficiency virus on serially collected dried blood spot specimens from infants by DNA PCR.


3rd Conf Retro and Opportun Infect. 1996 Jan 28-Feb 1;:154. Unique

Present diagnostic methods for the early detection of HIV infection in newborns generally have relied on either HIV culture or DNA PCR on liquid blood. In this study, the diagnostic value of PCR on dried blood spot (DBS) specimens for timely detection of HIV infection in infants at risk for vertical HIV transmission is evaluated. A total of 272 DBS specimens obtained at pre-defined age intervals during the first four months of life from 144 (41 infected, 103 uninfected) infants born to HIV-infected mothers enrolled in the Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS) were assayed. The sensitivity of DBS PCR was high for infants 1, 2 and 4 months of age (89-97%); however, for infants O-7 days of age, the sensitivity was only 14% (3/21). DBS PCR was highly specific for all age groups (98-100%). In addition, DBS PCR results were highly concordant with that from liquid blood PCR and viral culture in a direct comparison of results, even during the neonatal period. The finding that DBS PCR is a sensitive and specific assay for HIV detection in infants by the age of one month is particularly pertinent in view of the important advantages of using DBS specimens. These advantages include a lower volume of blood required for testing, relative safety in handling of DBS samples, and ease of storage and transportation of DBS specimens. DBS PCR is potentially a very useful test for the epidemiologic surveillance of infants at risk for HIV infection and for the large HIV transmission studies that are presently needed and are being planned for in developing countries.

*Blood Specimen Collection DNA, Viral/BLOOD Developing Countries Female HIV Infections/EPIDEMIOLOGY/TRANSMISSION HIV-1/GENETICS/*ISOLATION & PURIF Human Infant, Newborn Polymerase Chain Reaction Pregnancy Pregnancy Complications, Infectious Sensitivity and Specificity ABSTRACT


Information in this article was accurate in November 30, 1996. 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.