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2014 FEB 24 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at AIDS Weekly -- Current study results on Immune System Diseases and Conditions have been published. According to news reporting originating from London, United Kingdom, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "The availability of point-of-care (POC) tests for infectious diseases has revolutionised the provision of healthcare for remote rural populations without access to laboratories. However, quality assurance for POC tests has been largely overlooked."

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from the University of London, "We have evaluated the use and stability of dry tube specimens (DTS) for External Quality Assurance (EQA) for HIV and syphilis screening in remote indigenous populations in the Amazon region of Brazil. All healthcare workers (HCWs) participating in the community-screening were trained. We used HIV and syphilis DTS panels developed by the reference laboratory, containing samples with negative and positive results at different antibody concentrations, for both infections. DTS panels were distributed to HCWs in the communities for reconstitution and testing using POC HIV and syphilis tests. The results of testing were sent to the reference laboratory for marking and remedial action taken where necessary. In total 268 HCWs tested 1607 samples for syphilis and 1608 samples for HIV. Results from HCWs showed a concordance rate of 90% for syphilis and 93% for HIV (kappa coefficients of 0.74 and 0.78, respectively) with reference laboratories. Most false negatives were in samples of very low antibody concentration. DTS syphilis specimens produced the expected results after storage at 2-8 degrees C or at 18-24 degrees C for up to 3 weeks. The results show that POC tests for syphilis and HIV give valid results in environments where traditional tests do not work, but errors in the interpretation of POC test results were identified by the EQA programme using DTS."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "EQA using DTS can help to improve the quality of screening programmes using POC tests in remote regions."

For more information on this research see: External quality assurance with dried tube specimens (DTS) for point-of-care syphilis and HIV tests: experience in an indigenous populations screening programme in the Brazilian Amazon. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 2014;90(1):14-18. Sexually Transmitted Infections can be contacted at: Bmj Publishing Group, British Med Assoc House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR, England. (BMJ Publishing Group - group.bmj.com/; Sexually Transmitted Infections - sti.bmj.com/)

The news editors report that additional information may be obtained by contacting A.S. Benzaken, University of London, Dept. of Clin Res, London WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom. Additional authors for this research include M.L. Bazzo, E. Galban, I.C.P. Pinto, C.L. Nogueira, L. Golfetto, N.S. Benzaken, K.A. Sollis, D. Mabey and R.W. Peeling (see also Immune System Diseases and Conditions).

Keywords for this news article include: Antibodies, London, Europe, HIV/AIDS, Syphilis, Immunology, RNA Viruses, Retroviridae, United Kingdom, Blood Proteins, HIV Infections, Immunoglobulins, Vertebrate Viruses, Primate Lentiviruses, Opportunistic Infections, Bacterial Infections and Mycoses, Viral Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Information in this article was accurate in February 24, 2014. 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.