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Virus types in layman's terms
Feb 8, 1999

Hi doctor, I believe that I have this straight, but want to check with you. This is concerning the different virus types and tests that identify them. 1. Hiv-2 is a different virus than Hiv-1. Some elisas will pick up both, No molecular tests will at this time. 2. Hiv-1 has 2 subgroups O and M, some elisas wont pick up type O's subtypes but some companies have modified their assays to pick up this subgroup. Viral load and dna tests for hiv-1 (which is all there currently is) will identify but may have trouble quantitating subgroup O?.

Assuming I am correct in this line of thinking, would the only true way to test for all virus's and subtypes be to get and HIV1/HIV2 elisa at 6 months, and a PCR DNA or ultrasensitive viral load at the same time? Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

You get an A for the day!!! The new Abbott MO2 ELISA (get it, M for M subtypes, O for O subtypes and 2 for HIV-2) should detect all the suspects. The data looks very good and should be approved soon. Therefore you probably don't need the viral load test. MH



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