Early diagnosis of HIV infection in infants

Antonella d’Arminio Monforte, Roberto Novati, Paola Marchisio, Nadia Zanchetta, Caterina Uberti-Foppa, Raffaella Tornaghi, Emilia Massironi, Adriano Lazzarin, Nicola Principi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Eighteen infants born to anti-HIV-positive mothers were tested bimonthly for immunoglobulin M (IgM) anti-HIV by Western blot and HIV p24 antigen (Ag) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in order to determine the role of these markers in the early diagnosis of HIV infection. Twelve healthy infants were also studied as a control group. In 11 out of 18 children (61.1%) an IgM response was demonstrable, in 13 out of 18 (72.2%) IgM anti-HIV and/or p24 antigen (Ag) were detected. Two patterns of IgM response were identified: a precocious IgM positivity (group of five children positive at birth) and a later appearance of IgM, always within the third month (six cases). Early p24 antigenemia occurred in one infant. Three out of four children who developed antigenemia after birth were symptomatic within the sixth month. No clinical or immunological abnormalities were found among the three children who were persistently negative for both IgM anti-HIV and p24 Ag. Serial IgM anti-HIV and p24 Ag testing may be helpful in the early identification of HIV-infected patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-395
Number of pages5
JournalAIDS (London, England)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1989


  • HIV-infected infants
  • Immunoglobulin M anti-HIV
  • p24 antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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