AIDS research and human retroviruses 2017 03 20() doi 10.1089/aid.2016.0245
Accurate methods for cross-sectional incidence estimation are needed for HIV prevention research. The Limiting Antigen Avidity (LAg-Avidity) assay has been marketed by two vendors, Maxim Biomedical and Sedia BioSciences Corporation. Performance differences between the two versions of the assay are unknown. We tested a total 1,410 treatment-naive samples with both versions of the assay. The samples came from 176 seroconverters from the Zimbabwe Hormonal Contraception and HIV Study. The correlation between the two versions of the assay was 0.93 for the optical density (OD) and 0.86 for the normalized OD. As the difference was more pronounced for the normalized OD, the difference in assays can be attributed to the calibrators. The mean duration of recent infection (MDRI), the average time individuals infected <2 years appear recently infected, was determined for both versions using an assay cutoff of 1.5 OD-n alone or in combination with a viral load cutoff of >1,000 copies/ml. The MDRI was 137 days for Sedia and 157 days for Maxim, with a difference of 20 days (95% CI 11-30). The MDRIs decreased to 102 and 120 days with the inclusion of a viral load cutoff of >1,000 copies/ml. These results imply that use of the Sedia LAg-Avidity will result in estimates of incidence ∼13% lower than those using the Maxim LAg-Avidity.