A test that appears to allow the AIDS virus to be detectedbefore antibodies develop is described in the current issue ofClinical Chemistry.

The microplate hybridization assay, developed by EnzoDiagnostics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Enzo Biochem Inc. ofNew York (ASE:ENZ), allows proviral DNA from HIV to bedetected at relatively low levels, said Elazar Rabbani, EnzoBiochem's president.

The journal article reports on a joint research study by EnzoDiagnostics and the Division of HIV/AIDS of the U.S. PublicHealth Service National Center of Infectious Diseases, Centersfor Disease Control in Atlanta.

Further studies by the two groups have shown that the testsidentified proviral HIV DNA, after amplification, in six samplesfrom individuals who were seronegative at the time ofsampling, but subsequently seroconverted by producing HIVantibodies.

When used in combination with gene amplification techniques,Enzo reports that its test provides several advantages overcurrent procedures. For plus/minus determinations, results canbe read by the eye. Otherwise, a standard, automatedmicroplate reader can be used to simultaneously monitoralmost 100 samples for assessing viral loads in patient samples.

If the results are verified further, Rabbani said, the test mightbe used for early diagnosis of HIV among potential blooddonors or to track the response of the virus to therapy. --Jennifer Van Brunt

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.

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