Dissident AIDS Database

Antibody testsUnreliabilityFalse positiveTuberculosis
Seroprevalence among tuberculosis patients in Zaire.
 Nzilambi, N. Mann, J.M. & Francis, H.
  Mann and colleagues reported that in a tuberculosis santitorium in Kinshasa, Zaire, half of the suspected pulmonary cases, one third of the confirmed cases and two thirds of the confirmed extra-pulmonary cases had a positive HIV Western blot antibody test.
  Abstracts II International AIDS conference, 1986, No. 105:S17b: Paris1986
Infection with HIV-1 and HTLV among leprosy patients and contacts: Correlation between HIV-1 cross-ractivity and antibodies to lipoarabinomannan,
 Kashala, O. Marlink, R. Ilunga, M. Diese, M. Gormus, B. Xu, K. Mukeba, P. Kasongo, K. & Essex, M.
  This study in central Africa reported that the microbes responsible for tuberculosis and leprosy were so prevalent that over 70% of the HIV-positive test results were false. The cross-reactivity was found to be caused by antibodies directed against two major carbohydrate-containing M. leprae antigens--phenolic glycolipid I and especially lipoarabinomannan, an arabinose-containing lipopolysaccharide which is also present in M. tuberculosis and other mycobacteria. This prompted Essex and his collaborators to warn that ELISA results should be "interpreted with caution" in areas where HIV and TB were co-endemic. Indeed, they speculated that existing antibody tests "may not be sufficient for HIV diagnosis" in settings where TB and related diseases are commonplace.
  J Infect Dis , 1994; 169: 296-3041994
HIV and Tuberculosis
 Abdool Karim
  "Clinically, pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is the main presenting illness among HIV infected persons. The incidence rate of TB in South Africa is one of the highest in the world at 341 per 100 000 per year. To illustrate the burden in the era of HIV, the incidence rate of TB in one rural district with a population of about 200 000 rose from 154/100 000 in 1991 to 413/100 000 in 1995. At the same time, prevalence of HIV infection among these TB patients rose from 29% to 55%. Drug resistant in TB is closely monitored."
  Lancet May 24, 19971997