Dissident AIDS Database

Antibody testsUnreliabilityFalse positiveIndeterminate
False-Positive and Indeterminate Human Immunodeficiency Virus Test Results in Pregnant Women
 Doran TI, Parra E
  "The WB [Western Blot antibody test] is not used as a screening tool because...it yields an unacceptably high percentage of indeterminate results.”
  Arch Fam Med. 2000 Sep/Oct;9:924-102000
Risk factors for repeatedly reactive HIV-1 EIA and indeterminate Western blots: a population-based case control study.
 Celum CL et al.
  "Between 4% and 20% of serum samples that are repeatedly reactive by HIV-1 EIA are interpreted as indeterminate by Western blot [which is used to confirm the EIA]...Of the 131 EIA-negative controls 35(27%) had indeterminate Western blots..Of 244 cases referred to the study because of previous reactive EIA and indeterminate Western blot, 139 still had repeatedly reactive visit 1, and of these, 124 also had indeterminate Western blots at the first study visit and did not seroconvert to a positive Western blot”
  Arch Int Med. 1994 May 23;154:1129-37.1994
Comparisons of confirmed and unconfirmed HIV-1 and HTLV-I positive donors to the donor base.
 Haley NR et al
  "Table shows that of 1,326,030 HIV tests 1,072 had reactive EIA/ELISA tests that were followed by negative or indeterminate Western Blot. Only 276 were confirmed positive]...Some of the EIA repeat reactive [but] Wb [Western Blot] negative or ID [indeterminate] donors were tested on multiple occasions. No donor in...the HIV-1...neg or ID group became Wb positive...”
  Transfusion. 1992;32(suppl):30S1992
What do Western Blot indeterminate patterns for Human Immunodeficiency Virus mean in EIA-negative blood donors?.
 Genesca J et al.
  "100 ELISA-negative donors...were tested by WB [note that normally a negative ELISA will not result in a Western Blot ‘confirmatory’ test]. 20 were WBi, with p24 being the predominant (70%) and generally the only band. Among recipients of WBi blood, 36% were WBi in their 6 month post-transfusion sample, but so were 42% of a control population that had received only WB-negative blood. When serial samples from recipients with a WB pattern were tested on two occasions, only 35% of results were reproducible. No recipients of WBi blood became ELISA positive, true positive for WB, positive for HIV-1 antigen, or positive for ELISA reactivity against recombinant p24 or gp41...Thus WBi patterns are exceedingly common in randomly selected donors and recipients”
  Lancet. 1989 Oct 28;II:1023-5.1989
Human immunodeficiency virus infection and indeterminate Western blot patterns.
 Dock NL et al.
  "Indeterminate patterns can occur in up to 15% of samples tested by WB [Western Blot confirmatory antibody test]... Cumulative experience from more than 5 years of HIV testing suggests that indeterminate WB patterns that persist for many months or years do not indicate HIV infection...37 of 98 indeterminate [blood] donors had WB patterns that were not stable when evaluated over time. In 22 donors whose WB patterns were initially negative, a subsequent WB test showed either single or multiple bands [to proteins believed to be from HIV]. 15 donors whose samples were initially indeterminate became negative at later times.”
  Arch Int Med. 1991 Mar;151:525-30.1991
The fallibility of HIV Western blot.
 Mortimer PP.
  "In blood donor studies in the developed world, about 20% of sera referred to confirmatory laboratories give indeterminate western blot results, almost all of which are on presumed negative specimens.”
  Lancet. 1991 Feb 2;337:286-7.1991
Laboratory diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus infection.
 Proffitt MR, Yen-Lieberman B.
  Western Blot tests are indeterminate in 20 to 40% of healthy blood donors who are negative on the ELISA test.
  Inf Dis Clin North Am. 1993;7:203-19.1993