New microsphere-based methods for detecting HIV antibodies

May 23, 2013
©2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Detection of HIV antibodies is used to diagnose HIV infection and monitor trials of experimental HIV/AIDS vaccines. New, more sensitive detection systems being developed use microspheres to capture HIV antibodies and can measure even small amounts of multiple antibodies at one time. This novel multiplex immunoassay approach is described in an article in BioResearch Open Access.

The ability to detect very low levels of is critical for early detection of HIV infection and to assess the effectiveness of an AIDS vaccine. Rebecca L.R. Powell and coauthors from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Brooklyn, NY, compared the microsphere-based BioPlex® Suspension Array System to conventional ELISA antibody test methods for detecting simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in SIV-infected rhesus macaques.

The specificity of the two methods were comparable. The microsphere-based test system successfully detected four key simultaneously in SIV-infected animals, compared to noninfected control animals. Furthermore, in blood samples that tested negative for one or more HIV antibody using an ELISA test, the microsphere assay was often able to detect the antibody in the sample.

The findings were presented in the article "A Multiplex Microsphere-Based Immunoassay Increases the Sensitivity of SIV-Specific Antibody Detection in Serum Samples and Mucosal Specimens Collected from Infected with SIVmac239." (

"This new method provides a significant improvement over standard ELISA techniques, allowing increased sensitivity for specific antibody detection—which is highly important for assessing ," says BioResearch Open Access Editor Jane Taylor, PhD, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Explore further: Antibodies help protect monkeys from HIV-like virus, scientists show

More information: The article is available on the BioResearch Open Access website (

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Videos reveal how HIV spreads in real time

October 2, 2015

How retroviruses like HIV spread in their hosts had been unknown—until a Yale team devised a way to watch it actually happen in a living organism. The elaborate and sometimes surprising steps the virus takes to reach and ...

Researchers find proteins that shut down HIV-1

September 30, 2015

A pair of studies by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the University of Trento in Italy, and the University of Geneva in Switzerland, point to a promising new anti-retroviral strategy for combating ...

An antibody that can attack HIV in new ways

September 11, 2015

Proteins called broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are a promising key to the prevention of infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. bNAbs have been found in blood samples from some HIV patients whose immune systems ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.