HIV seroconversion biomarkers are being used in cross-sectional studies for HIV incidence estimation. Bio-Rad Geenius HIV-1/2 Supplemental Assay is an immunochromatographic single-use assay that measures antibodies (Ab) against multiple HIV-1/2 antigens. The objective of this study was to determine whether the Geenius assay could additionally be used for recency estimation.
This assay was developed for HIV-1/2 confirmation; however, quantitative data acquired give information on increasing concentration and diversity of antibody responses over time during seroconversion. A quantitative threshold of recent HIV infection was proposed to determine "recent" or "nonrecent" HIV infection; performance using this cutoff was evaluated.
We tested 2500 highly characterized specimens from research subjects in the United States, Brazil, and Africa with well-defined durations of HIV infection. Regression and frequency estimation were used to estimate assay properties relevant to HIV incidence measurement: mean duration of recent infection (MDRI), false-recent rate, and assay reproducibility and robustness.
Using the manufacturer’s proposed cutoff index of 1.5 to identify "recent" infection, the assay has an estimated false-recent rate of 4.1% (95% CI: 2.2 to 7.0) and MDRI of 179 days (155 to 201) in specimens from treatment-naive subjects, presenting performance challenges similar to other incidence assays. Lower index cutoffs associated with lower MDRI gave a lower rate of false-recent results.
These data suggest that with additional interpretive analysis of the band intensities using an algorithm and cutoff, the Geenius HIV-1/2 Supplemental Assay can be used to identify recent HIV infection in addition to confirming the presence of HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies.