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Letter to the editor: additional evidence to support a cross-reactivity of SARS-CoV-2 with HIV chemiluminescent assay
  1. Márcio da Costa Cipitelli,
  2. Marcos Dornelas-Ribeiro,
  3. Caleb G M Santos
  1. DEP, Instituto de Biologia do Exército, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Dr Caleb G M Santos, DEP, Instituto de Biologia do Exército, Rio de Janeiro 20911-270, Brazil; calebguedes{at}

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, a 43-year-old male patient with no clinically relevant changes, underwent routine examinations at the Brazilian Army Institute of Biology on 25 May 2021. The fourth-generation chemiluminescence assay, Vitros HIV Combo (Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, New Jersey, USA), for HIV-1 and HIV-2 was performed. The Vitros HIV Combo test detects both HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies and the p24 antigen in acute cases of HIV infection. The result obtained was 2.54 s/CO (sample relative light unit/cut-off relative light unit). Specimens with s/CO values of ≥1 are considered reactive for HIV. Following the flowchart established by the Technical Manual for the Diagnosis of HIV Infection in Adults and Children, prepared by the Brazilian Health Ministry,1 a new sample was obtained on 4 June 2021, for confirmation and additional quantification of HIV-1 viral load using real-time reverse transcription PCR (M2000sp and M2000rt; Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois, USA) and an antibody specific search for viral HIV-1 antigens (p17, p24, p31, gp41, p51, p55, p66 and gp120/160) using western blotting. The new chemiluminescent HIV-1/HIV12 test showed reactivity at 2.67 s/CO, similar to the first …

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  • Handling editor Tahir S Pillay.

  • Contributors MdCC collected data and drafted the initial manuscript; MD-R critically reviewed the manuscript; CGMS critically reviewed and approved of the final submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.