Fully Automated Assay Screens Blood for HIV

Fully Automated Assay Screens Blood for HIV

A fully automated blood screening test for human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) /HIV-2 can be used by laboratory professionals to screen individual donors of blood and plasma for antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus type l Groups M and O (anti-HIV-l) and type 2 (anti-HIV-2). It can also be used as an aid in the diagnosis of HIV-l/HIV-2 infection.

The new HIV assay can run 160 samples per hour, making it possible to test more than 1,200 samples in an eight-hour shift. Speed and efficiency are important to labs because large volumes of blood are screened each year. According to the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB; www.aabb.org), eight million volunteers donate about 15 million units of whole blood each year in the United States alone. Each donated unit of blood must be tested for infectious diseases including hepatitis, AIDs, and other dis­eases caused by retroviruses.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the new assay, which runs on the Abbott Prism and is called the HIV O Plus test. Following the FDA approval Abbott Diagnostics (Abbott park, IL, USA; www.abbottdiagnostics.com) has a complete panel of hepatitis and retrovirus tests including the following assays: a hepatitis B core test (Abbott Prism HBcore); a hepatitis B surface antigen test (Abbott Prism HBsAg along with Abbott Prism HBsAg Confirmatory); a hepatitis C test (Abbott Prism HCV); and a human T-tymphotropic virus test (Abbott Prism, HTLV-I/HTLV-II).

The assay has not been validated for use with pooled specimens and is not intended for use on cord blood specimens.

Abbott offers a broad range of diagnostic instrument systems and tests for hospitals, reference labs, molecular labs, blood banks, physician offices, and clinics. The diagnos­tic products offer customers automation, convenience, bedside testing, cost effectiveness, and flexibility.