Affililations: *National Institute of Health, Department of Medical Sciences
Source: Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology 1997; 15: 199-204
Summary a study on how to apply PCR as a diagnostic test for the infants born to HIV-1 infected mothers is described. All steps including clinical care, blood sampling, specimen processing and PCR analysis were carried out using native facilities and personnel. An open cohort of 130 children was evaluated at birth, 1, 6, 9, 15, and 18 months of age. Definite infection status was assessed by clinical and serological data during an 18 months of follow up period. PCR results were reported as positive or negative when at least 2 concordant data were denoted. This in-house PCR, compared to known infection status, gave 100% sensitivity and 94.4% specificity within 6 months after birth. On the other hand, clinical diagnosis could identify only the infected infants at 9 months of age. The HIV-1 transmission rate from mother to infant was 23.2%. Though this PCR was not at an optimal level of specificity, it was still beneficial to identify uninfected infants in the first year of their lives and avoid unnecessary medical care. Here, we report an in-house PCR that offers good performance at low cost for the diagnosis of HIV-1 vertical transmission.