Detection of acute HIV infection: A field evaluation of the determine® HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab combo test

Nora E. Rosenberg, Gift Kamanga, Sam Phiri, Dominic Nsona, Audrey Pettifor, Sarah E. Rutstein, Deborah Kamwendo, Irving F. Hoffman, Maria Keating, Lillian B. Brown, Beatrice Ndalama, Susan A. Fiscus, Seth Congdon, Myron S. Cohen, William C. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


(See the editorial commentary by Branson and Stekler, on pages 521-4.)Background.Most human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) point-of-care tests detect antibodies (Ab) but not p24 antigen (Ag) or RNA. In the absence of antibodies, p24 antigen and RNA typically indicate acute HIV infection. We conducted a field evaluation of the Determine® HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo rapid test (Combo RT).Methods.The antigen portion of the Combo RT (for acute HIV infection) was compared with a Roche Monitor HIV RNA polymerase chain reaction assay. The antibody portion of Combo RT (for established HIV infection) was compared with rapid test algorithms. Participants were enrolled at a sexually transmitted infection clinic and HIV testing and counseling center in Lilongwe, Malawi. Rapid testing was conducted with parallel testing in the clinic and serial testing in the center. The Combo RT was performed in clinic participants with negative or discordant antibody results and in all center participants.Results.Of the participants 838 were HIV negative, 163 had established HIV infection, and 8 had acute HIV infection. For detecting acute HIV infection, the antigen portion had a sensitivity of 0.000 and a specificity of 0.983. For detecting established HIV infection, the antibody portion had a sensitivity of 0.994 and a specificity of 0.992.Conclusions.Combo RT displayed excellent performance for detecting established HIV infection and poor performance for detecting acute HIV infection. In this setting, Combo RT is no more useful than current algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-534
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Detection of acute HIV infection: A field evaluation of the determine® HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab combo test'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this