The fourth generation AlereTM HIV Combo rapid test improves detection of acute infection in MTN-003 (VOICE) samples

Academic Article


  • Background Early and accurate detection of HIV is crucial when using pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention to avoid PrEP initiation in acutely infected individuals and to minimize the risk of drug resistance in individuals with breakthrough infection. Objective To determine if fourth-generation antigen/antibody (Ag/Ab) rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) would have detected HIV infection earlier than the third-generation RDT used in MTN-003 (VOICE). Study design 5029 VOICE participants were evaluated with third-generation Alere Determine™ HIV-1/2, OraQuick ADVANCE® Rapid HIV-1/2, Uni-Gold™ Recombigen® HIV-1/2 and Bio-Rad GS HIV-1/2 + O EIA; and fourth-generation Alere Determine™ HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo, Conformité Européene (CE)-Marked Alere™ HIV Combo and Bio-Rad HIV Combo Ag/Ab EIA. Multispot®, GS HIV-1 Western Blot (WB) and Geenius™ (Bio-Rad) were also evaluated. Results Of 57 antibody-negative pre-seroconversion plasma samples with HIV RNA >20 copies/mL identified, 16 (28%) were reactive by CE-Marked Alere™ HIV Combo (1 Ab; 9 Ag; 6 Ag/Ab reactive) and 4 (7%) by Alere Determine™ HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo (2 Ab; 2 Ag; 0 Ag/Ab reactive) (p = 0.0005). Multispot® confirmed only 1 of 16 acute infections while WB and Geenius™ confirmed none. GS HIV Combo Ag/Ab EIA identified 27 of 57 (47%) pre-seroconversion RNA-positive samples. Conclusion In VOICE, 28% of infections missed by current third-generation RDT would have been identified with the use of CE-Marked Alere™ HIV Combo. Geenius™, Multispot® and WB were all insensitive ( < 10%) in confirming infections detected by fourth-generation assays. An improved diagnostic algorithm that includes a fourth-generation RDT with HIV RNA testing will be essential for efficiently identifying seroconverters on PrEP.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Livant E; Heaps A; Kelly C; Maharaj R; Samsunder N; Nhlangulela L; Karugaba P; Panchia R; Marrazzo J; Chirenje ZM
  • Start Page

  • 15
  • End Page

  • 21
  • Volume

  • 94