OBJECTIVES: To conduct a serological survey of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Gabon and Ga-Rankuwa, South Africa. A secondary objective was to test a novel, simple, inexpensive agglutination assay for anti-HIV IgG and anti-HCV IgG from blood samples stored as spots dried onto filter paper. DESIGN: Blood from heel pricks was dried onto filter paper and stored. Blood was eluted from the spots and serum antibody was then assayed using a modified agglutination assay--blood was added to gelatin agglutination beads that had been sensitised with viral antigen. A positive result showed as an agglutination pattern while a negative result appeared as a tight bead. SUBJECT: This was a hospital-based study involving 271 neonates at Ga-Rankuwa Hospital, South Africa, and 856 patients ranging in age from three months to over 50 years who attended clinics in Gabon. RESULTS: Seroprevalence to HIV was determined in Ga-Rankuwa to be just under 14% (13.8%). Antibodies to HCV were not detected. In Gabon, the prevalence to HIV was just under 1% (0.82%) with a relatively high incidence of HCV, nearing 4% (3.79%). CONCLUSION: The sensitivity of the agglutination assay compared favourably to enzyme immune assay (EIA) with respect to sensitivity, simplicity and cost. This assay may be useful in sero-epidemilogical assays in developing countries.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Central African Journal of Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|