Early diagnosis of HIV infection in infants

Jan Albert, Gunnell Biberfeld, William Borkowsky, Maurizio Caniglia, Anita Rossi De, Luigi Elia, Carlo Fundaro, Carlo Giaquinto, Denis Henrard, Rodney Hoff, Marianne Jansson, Valter Lombardi, Paola Marchisio, Savita Pahwa, Anna Plebani, Martha Rogers, Paolo Rossi*, Christine Rouzioux, Gabriella Scarlatti, Gwendolyn ScottHiko Tamashiro, Guido der Groen van, Paola Verani, Britta Wahren, Steven Wolinsky, Consensus Workshop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


To promote progress in the research and development of early diagnostic tests for HIV in young children an international workshop was held on January 17-18, 1992, in Siena, Italy. Experts on pediatric AIDS, diagnostic retro virology, and immunodiagnosis discussed and summarized the state-of-the-art and made recommendations for general application of several tests and further evaluation and continued research for other candidate tests. From the discussions it was clear that the field has advanced beyond the time when it was necessary to wait until the infant reached 18 months of age before attempting the diagnosis with conventional serologic tests for HIV. About half of infected infants can now be identified at birth, ˜90% by 3 months of age, and almost all by 6 months of age using HIV culture and polymerase chain reaction assays. IgA antibody tests and p24 antigen tests have also proved useful, although they are not as sensitive in newborn infants. The fact that HIV can be detected in only one-half of infected infants at the time of birth points to the need for further research on the timing of transmission and the natural history of perinatally acquired HIV infection to understand the limitations of current early diagnostic tests and to develop new approaches to overcome these problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1169-1178
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1992


  • Early diagnosis in infants
  • HIV ELISPOT test
  • HIV IgA test
  • HIV culture
  • HIV in vitro antibody production test
  • HIV p24 test
  • HIV polymerase chain reaction test
  • Pediatrie HIV-1 infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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