What is an eHIV test:? (GROUP O, Subtype O, eHIV TEST, 2009)

Question

I just received my HIV test results - Nonreactive. Yay! My question is about what is written on the results sheet. It says "Attention: New enhanced methodology (eHIV) detects antibodies to HIV-1, including Group O, and/or HIV-2.

Can you please explain what this eHIV methodology is? Also, what is Group O?

Thank you!

Answer

Hi,

WOO-HOO!

The eHIV test is an "enhanced" automated assay for HIV-1, HIV-2 and HIV subtype O. It was FDA approved in June 2006. The "enhanced" aspects are largely technical improvements, such as cascade reflex testing. I'll print some information about the assay below.

As for "group O," this refers to HIV-1 subtype O. The strains of HIV-1 can be classified into three groups: the "major" group M, the "outlier" group O and the "new" group N. Group O is found primarily in west-central Africa. Group N was discovered in 1998 in Cameroon and is extremely rare. More than 90% of HIV-1 infections belong to HIV-1 group M.

Dr. Bob

Enhanced Automated Test (ADVIA Centaur EHIV) Detects HIV Types 1, 2, and Subtype O

On June 21, the FDA approved an enhanced in vitro diagnostic immunoassay ( EHIV, made by Bayer Healthcare Diagnostics Division, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) for use on the company's ADVIA Centaur system in the qualitative determination of antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1, HIV-2, and HIV-1 subtype O in human serum and plasma.

According to a company news release, it is the first fully-automated test with this antibody range and meets worldwide healthcare standards for detecting all known types of HIV infection.

Advanced features provided by the enhanced HIV (EHIV) testing process include automatic algorithm processing, cascade reflex testing, user-defined panels, and automatic repeats of critical samples. Combined with use of sample tips and assay verification processes, use of the assay is expected to increase laboratory testing efficacy and security.