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    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are widely used. However, buffer stockouts commonly lead to utilising non-approved liquids, resulting in errors. Our aim was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of an alternative buffer. Paired Determine HIV-1/2 rapid tests with commercial buffer and locally produced 0.01M phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) were performed on consecutive consenting individuals requiring HIV testing. Serum samples were sent for confirmation through the local gold-standard algorithm (Murex HIV Ag/Ab, Hexagon HIV with/without Geenius HIV 1/2). Test accuracy, κ and exact McNemar's test were also carried out. Of 167 participants, 137 had confirmatory testing. The sensitivity of the Determine HIV-1/2 test using PBS compared with the gold standard was 100% (95% confidence interval [CI] 90.5 to 100) with a specificity of 98% (95% CI 92.9 to 99.8). The κ value was 0.94 compared with the gold standard and 0.92 compared with the Determine HIV-1/2 test using the commercial buffer. McNemar's test showed no evidence of differing sensitivities. Due to operational constraints, the study included 37 of the 49 positive cases as determined by the sample size calculation, resulting in an attained power of 80% instead of the intended 90%. These results suggest that 0.01M PBS is an alternative solution for Determine HIV-1/2 when buffer stockouts occur. © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


    Anna Boté-Casamitjana, Tisbeh Faye-Joof, Ousman Bah, Sira Jallow, Alagie Camara, Olimatou Jallow, Nuredin Mohammed, Karen Forrest, Behzad Nadjm. Evaluating the sensitivity and specificity of Determine™ HIV-1/2 rapid test using a 0.01M phosphate-buffered saline produced at the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia for the diagnosis of HIV. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2024 Feb 01;118(2):127-135

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    PMID: 37818849

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