Comparison of indirect immunofluorescence and Western blot for detection of anti-human immunodeficiency virus antibodies

J. R. Carlson, J. Yee, S. H. Hinrichs, M. L. Bryant, M. B. Gardner, N. C. Pedersen

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19 Scopus citations


There was 100% agreement between the results of indirect immunofluorescence (IF) and Western blot testing when these methods were used to detect antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus in sera from 25 patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), 20 patients with AIDS-related complex, 186 subjects at high risk for AIDS, and 40 healthy heterosexuals. However, there was only an 88.7% correlation between IF and Western blot results for 728 sera from blood and plasma donor centers that were selected on the basis of screening enzyme immunoassay reactivity. IF tests yielded nine false-negatives and were equivocal, yielding a nonspecific pattern of reactivity for both infected and uninfected cells for 73 of these specimens. The IF and Western blot methods were equal in performance for the detection of anti-human immunodeficiency virus antibodies in the high-risk and unselected low-risk groups, proving to be a practical approach for testing specimens from these subjects. However, the Western blot was the most acceptable method for the validation of specimens from groups at low risk for AIDS that were selected based on enzyme immunoassay reactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-497
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

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