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Conflicting PCR tests: different primers and different results!

Jan 18, 2004

Dr. Holodniy, I know this may not be an easy question, but can you please try to help me? I tested positive twice at a very reputable Lab on an HIV-2 PCR DNA with primers for GAG, but tested negative twice at another very reputable Lab on their HIV-2 PCR DNA test that uses LTR primers. Antibody test inconclusive.

So, which is the better, more sensitive and specific test for detecting HIV-2 virus...the one with GAG or the one with LTR primers? (I was told that these tests look for more conserved regions of the virus, so is LTR or GAG more conserved and reliable for diagnosis?). I really need to resolve this, especially since I have continued viral symptoms and a low CD4/CD8 ratio. Liver enzymes also high.

Many thanks.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I don't know the answer to that question.


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