Test can detect HIV within a week of infection: researchers

February 16, 2017

Spain's top research institution said Thursday it has patented an HIV test that can detect the AIDS-causing virus within a week of infection, the fastest yet.

A "biosensor" developed by scientists of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) detects the p24 antigen, a protein attached to the HIV virus, in human blood, the council said in a statement.

The technology "detects the protein at concentrations 100,000 times lower than in current techniques," it said, and "during the first week after infection."

"In addition, the total test time is four hours, 45 minutes, meaning clinical results could be obtained on the same day."

The outcome of tests with the sensor was published this week in the science journal PLOS ONE.

The sensor is a rice grain-sized chip combining micro-mechanical silicon structures and gold nanoparticles.

Its ingredients are manufactured using existing tecnology, "thus making large-scale, low-cost production possible," CSIC researcher Javier Tamayo said a statement.

"This, combined with its simplicity, could make it a great choice for use in developing countries" hardest-hit by the scourge of HIV.

Current antigen tests can detect HIV only about three weeks after infection. Tests that pick up HIV antibodies in the blood require an even longer wait.

RNA tests can detect the virus directly after about 10 days, but are more expensive.

Early detection is crucial to stop an infected person unknowingly passing the virus on to other people through sex.

According to the World Health Organization, there were about 36.7 million people living with HIV in 2015, mainly in low- and middle-income countries.

An estimated 2.1 million people were infected in 2015.

Some 35 million people have died from HIV-related causes, including 1.1 million in 2015.

Explore further: One-step test for hepatitis C virus infection developed

More information: Priscila M. Kosaka, Valerio Pini, Montserrat Calleja and Javier Tamayo. Ultrasensitive detection of HIV-1 p24 antigen by a hybrid nanomechanical-optoplasmonic platform with potential for detecting HIV-1 at first week after infection. PLOS ONE, 2017.

Related Stories

One-step test for hepatitis C virus infection developed

November 14, 2015
UC Irvine Health researchers have developed a cost-effective one-step test that screens, detects and confirms hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, director of hepatology services, will present findings at the ...

Researchers invent a faster and more accurate test for diagnosing Zika

January 23, 2017
Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, in conjunction with the New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center, have developed a new detection test for Zika that is faster and more accurate ...

FDA approves rapid diagnostic test for HIV antigen, antibodies

August 9, 2013
(HealthDay)—The first rapid test to detect the HIV-1 antigen, as well as blood antibodies for the HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Almost half of HIV infections worldwide undetected: WHO

November 29, 2016
The World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that nearly half of all people with HIV around the globe do not know they are infected, and called for broader access to at-home testing kits.

Newer tests could cut hep C diagnosis steps in half

June 20, 2016
Data suggest that several commercially available tests for hepatitis C virus core antigen (HCVcAg) are highly sensitive and specific and could transform the current two-test screening process for HCV into a single test. A ...

Recommended for you

Scientists find where HIV 'hides' to evade detection by the immune system

October 19, 2017
In a decades-long game of hide and seek, scientists from Sydney's Westmead Institute for Medical Research have confirmed for the very first time the specific immune memory T-cells where infectious HIV 'hides' in the human ...

National roll-out of PrEP HIV prevention drug would be cost-effective

October 18, 2017
Providing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication to men who have sex with men who are at high risk of HIV infection (equivalent to less than 5% of men who have sex with men at any point in time) in England would be cost-effective, ...

Regulatory T cells harbor HIV/SIV virus during antiviral drug treatment

October 17, 2017
Scientists at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University have identified an additional part of the HIV reservoir, immune cells that survive and harbor the virus despite long-term treatment with antiviral drugs.

New research opens the door to 'functional cure' for HIV

October 17, 2017
In findings that open the door to a completely different approach to curing HIV infections, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have for the first time shown that a novel compound effectively ...

Researchers create molecule that could 'kick and kill' HIV

October 5, 2017
Current anti-AIDS drugs are highly effective at making HIV undetectable and allowing people with the virus to live longer, healthier lives. The treatments, a class of medications called antiretroviral therapy, also greatly ...

A sixth of new HIV patients in Europe 50 or older: study

September 27, 2017
People aged 50 and older comprise a growing percentage of HIV patients in Europe, accounting for one in six new cases in 2015, researchers said Wednesday.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

NIPSZX
not rated yet Feb 18, 2017
Where is the rest of the information? Where is the purchase link to buy the test?

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.