Autologous red cell agglutination assay for HIV-1 antibodies: simplified test with whole blood

Science  09 Sep 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4871, pp. 1352-1354
DOI: 10.1126/science.3413497


An antibody detection procedure based on agglutination of autologous red cells has been developed for samples of whole blood. A nonagglutinating monoclonal antibody to human red blood cells conjugated to a synthetic peptide antigen (in this case residues 579 to 601 of the HIV-1 envelope precursor, Arg-Ile-Leu-Ala-Val-Glu-Arg-Tyr-Leu-Lys-Asp-Gln-Gln-Leu-Leu-Gly-Ile-Trp- Gly-Cys - Ser-Gly-Lys) permitted the detection of antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in 10 microliters of whole blood within 2 minutes. Agglutination was specifically inhibited by addition of synthetic peptide antigen but not by unrelated peptides. The frequency of false positive results was 0.1% with HIV-1 seronegative blood donors (n = 874). The false negative results were approximately 1% (n = 81). The autologous red cell agglutination test is potentially suitable for simple, rapid, qualitative screening for antibodies to a variety of antigens of medical and veterinary diagnostic significance.