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

Three-in-one antibody protects monkeys from HIV-like virus

September 20, 2017
A three-pronged antibody made in the laboratory protected monkeys from infection with two strains of SHIV, a monkey form of HIV, better than individual natural antibodies from which the engineered antibody is derived, researchers ...

Fighting HIV on multiple fronts might lead to vaccine

September 20, 2017
A combination antibody strategy could be the key to halting the spread of HIV, according to results from two promising animal studies.

HIV-AIDS: Following your gut

September 18, 2017
Researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) have discovered a way to slow viral replication in the gastrointestinal tract of people infected by HIV-AIDS.

Study finds cutbacks in foreign aid for HIV treatment would cause great harm

August 30, 2017
Proposed reductions in U.S. foreign aid would have a devastating impact on HIV treatment and prevention programs in countries receiving such aid, an international team of investigators reports. In their paper published online ...

Cancer drug can reactivate HIV

August 24, 2017
People living with HIV must take a combination of three or more different drugs every day for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, by following this strict treatment plan, they can suffer from side effects ranging from ...

New injectable antiretroviral treatment proved to be as effective as standard oral therapy

August 3, 2017
Intramuscularly administered antiretroviral therapy (ART) may be as effective for HIV treatment as current oral therapies. This is the main conclusion of a Phase II clinical trial carried out by 50 research centers around ...

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.