Jul 15, 2001
Why is the blood diluted 400x in the ELISA test when testing for HIV antibodies? Are there any other antibody test which dilute the blood over 30x? Isn't it true that if undiluted blood was tested for HIV antibodies, everyone would test positive? What is that telling us?
| Response from Dr. Holodniy
Because tests are developed to balance sensitivity (true positives) and specificity (true negatives), which reduces the false positive and negative tests. The dilution factor takes into account the antigen/antibody reaction (which requires different concentrations of each for every antibody tested). Yes many people would have false positive tests in undiluted serum. This would be the same for hundreds of other in fectious disease antibody tests.
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