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Different kinds of antibody tests
Jan 19, 1999

Dr. Holodniy, From what I've read it seems antibody tests use antigens made from recombinant peptides, synthetic peptides or viral lysates. The peptide antigens are usually based on subtype B virus proteins but are reported to pick up antibodies to the other subtypes as well. Is it true that tests using viral lysate antigens are probably better at picking up rare and unusual or recombinant strains that may occur in Africa and SE Asia? How likely are the conventional antibody tests to miss detecting antibodies to these unusual strains in someone who has seroconverted? Take care of yourself!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Great question! Any of the antibody tests are only as good as the antigen you put into them. Viral lysates could be as limiting if you don't put all the types of strains in the mixture. It requires continual screening for new strains and then incorporation of that new info into an updated version of the test. The companies who make these tests are doing a good job in updating their tests. MH



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