Scientists test new microsphere-based method to detect HIV antibodies

Researchers recently tested a new microsphere-based method to detect HIV antibodies that can measure small amounts of multiple antibodies at the same time, according to a study published in BioResearch Open Access.

Scientists use the detection of HIV antibodies to diagnose HIV infection and monitor trials of experimental HIV/AIDS vaccines. Rebecca Powell and her colleagues from the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based International AIDS Vaccine compared the conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay antibody test methods, also known as ELISA, with a microsphere-based BioPlex Suspension Array System.

The researchers used the two methods to detect simian immunodeficiency virus in SIV-infected rhesus macaques. The microsphere-based test system successfully detected four key HIV antibodies simultaneously in SIV-infected animals. The microsphere assay was also often able to detect HIV antibodies in blood samples that had tested negative for one or more antibodies using an ELISA test.

"This new method provides a significant improvement over standard ELISA techniques, allowing increased sensitivity for specific antibody detection -- which is highly important for assessing vaccine efficacy," Jane Taylor, the editor of BioResearch Open Access, said.

The findings were published in an article entitled, "A Multiplex Microsphere-Based Immunoassay Increases the Sensitivity of SIV-Specific Antibody Detection in Serum Samples and Mucosal Specimens Collected from Rhesus Macaques Infected with SIVmac239."