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Does Proviral DNA PCR test detect antigens?
Sep 22, 2013

I have following doubts, 1)Does proviral DNA PCR test detect antigens?Is it any one antigen or all antigens? 2)Is it possible that over a period of infection hiv mutates so that the antigens change and so that DNA PCR cannot detect changed antigen or antibodies not formed to changed antigens hence tests comes negative though the virus is in the body? 3)In India and in African counties like malawi there are people claiming after taking their medicine Proviral DNA PCR test comes negative(even after stopping the medicine for years).Does this means it has eliminated the virus from the body completely?Or there is some other cause to make the reports negative?Please clarify my doubts.Thanks.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

DNA PCR detects DNA and not antigens, which are proteins. The DNA sequence can mutate or change its composition, which can then change the structure of the protein or antigen. DNA PCR also does not detect antibodies. I have not heard of HIV DNA PCR becoming negative in such cases.



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