Three hundred and ninety eight serum samples from 270 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody positive asymptomatic homosexual men were tested in the Abbott and Dupont HIV antigen ELISA tests. In the Abbott test 62 (16%) of the sera were positive, according to the manufacturer's instructions, compared with 55 (14%) in the Dupont test. Twenty six sera were positive with the Abbott test but negative with the Dupont test and 19 sera were positive only by the Dupont test. Only 36 (9%) of the sera were positive in both tests. The Abbott confirmatory neutralisation test gave excellent agreement with the initial Abbott HIV antigen ELISA test; the Dupont confirmatory test was only in agreement with the initial positive Dupont antigen ELISA test in one third of the sera tested. Although the overall sensitivity of each of the two commercial assays tested was similar, the Abbott method may be preferable for clinical purposes if confirmation of an initial ELISA positive test result by neutralisation assay is required.
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