Concordance of HIV culture and PCR analysis in the diagnosis of vertically transmitted infection

E. Cattaneo, D. Zella, A. Cimarelli, L. Mori, G. Achilli, V. Landini, A. Maccabruni, D. Caselli, A. Dei Cas, C. Casoli, P. Ferrante, U. Bertazzoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to assess the predictive value of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for early diagnosis of HIV-1 infection in children born to HIV-1-infected mothers, the results of PCR analysis and of concurrent viral cultures were correlated with immunological patterns and clinical stage in a cohort of 67 infants and children born to seropositive mothers. Forty patients classified as CDC classification P0 were tested before reaching 15 months of age and clinical and immunological follow up was performed until diagnosis in 26 cases. Five (12.5%) of the 40 P0 cases were positive to PCR and culture and 34 were negative to both assays; one case was positive to virus isolation and PCR negative. Follow-up studies on 26 patients indicated that the five positive cases became ill and were classified as P2, while the other 21 cases, including the discordant one, seroreverted and were classified as P3. Thirteen CDC classification P1-P2 children known to be infected were also tested as positive controls and 14 P3 children, who seroreverted after 18 months, were analyzed as negative controls. Also in these cases an excellent concordance was observed between positivity to virus isolation and PCR analysis and no false positive PCR responses were noted. The results clearly indicate that PCR analysis is a valuable assay for the early diagnosis of HIV infection in P0 children born to seropositive mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-186
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric AIDS and HIV Infection
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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