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testing for N or O
Apr 29, 2009

hi doc, Is there a reliable screening test for HIV group N or O? Need help to rule out hiv 0 or N. how should i test for it. also is there a pcr test that would pick it up. thank you. from connectiuct

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for yuor question.

Most infections with HIV in the US are with HIV type 1, Group M (for major), subtype b. However, there have been rare cases of Group O (for "outlier"), and much more rarely Group N (for "new"). Group O viruses have been reported in patients from West and Central Africa (Cameroon, Gabon, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo). Group N cases have been almost exclusively from Cameroon. Group O cases can be diagnosed with most current ELISA tests, but antibody titers may be variable. I have not seen results from any commercially available test kit for Group N infections. If a person had exposures that would have put them at risk for group O or N infection the best way to establish a diagnosis would be to work through your local Health Department.

Best,

Joe



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