Background Serological assays to determine HIV incidence have contributed to estimates of HIV incidence, monitoring of HIV spread, and evaluation of prevention strategies. Two frequently used incidence assays are the Sedia HIV-1 LAg-Avidity EIA (LAg) and the Bio-Rad avidity incidence (BRAI) assays with a mean duration of recent infection (MDRI) of 130 and 240 days for subtype B infections, respectively. Little is known about how these assays perform with recombinant HIV-1 strains. We evaluated the concordance of these assays in a population infected mainly with HIV-1 CRF06_cpx. Material/Methods Remnant serum samples (n = 288) collected from confirmed, newly-diagnosed HIV-positive persons from Estonia in 2013 were tested. Demographic and clinical data were extracted from clinical databases. LAg was performed according to the manufacturer’s protocol and BRAI testing was done using a validated protocol. Samples with LAg-pending or BRAI-invalid results were reclassified as recent if they were from persons with viral loads <1000 copies/mL or were reclassified as long-term if presenting with AIDS. Results In total 325 new HIV infections were diagnosed in 2013 in Estonia. Of those 276 persons were tested with both LAg and BRAI. Using assay results only, the recency rate was 44% and 70% by LAg and BRAI, respectively. The majority of samples (92%) recent by LAg were recent by BRAI. Similarly, 89% of samples long-term by BRAI were long-term by LAg. After clinical information was included in the analysis, the recency rate was 44% and 62% for LAg and BRAI, respectively. The majority of samples (86%) recent by LAg were recent by BRAI and 91% of long-term infections by BRAI were long-term by LAg. Conclusions Comparison of LAg and BRAI results in this mostly CRF06_cpx-infected population showed good concordance for incidence classification. Our finding of a higher recency rate with BRAI in this population is likely related to the longer MDRI for this assay.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The study was supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund; Basic Financing, Institutional research funding (IUT34-24) and Personal research funding (PUT1580) of Estonian Ministry of Education and Research; Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs; and the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under EuroCoord grant agreement n 260694. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
© This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.