|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.
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