Low specificity of the Murex fourth-generation HIV enzyme immunoassay in Tanzanian adolescents

Trop Med Int Health. 2007 Nov;12(11):1323-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2007.01933.x. Epub 2007 Oct 22.


Objective: To determine the specificity of the Abbott Murex HIV antigen/antibody combination enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for the diagnosis of HIV infection in Tanzania.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 7333 Tanzanian adolescents and young adults was carried out. Sera testing positive by the Murex assay were further evaluated using a battery of other EIA which detect either antibody to HIV-1 or p24 antigen, and by PCR using pol primers.

Results: Of the 674 sera testing positive by the Murex assay, only 53 (7.9%) were confirmed. The specificity of the Murex assay was 91.5%.

Conclusions: Serological tests for HIV may perform differently in different populations. New diagnostic tests should not be introduced into populations in which they have not been evaluated.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antigen-Antibody Reactions
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Antibodies / immunology
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques / standards*
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tanzania


  • HIV Antibodies
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic