False human immunodeficiency virus test results associated with rheumatoid factors in rheumatoid arthritis

Chin Med Sci J. 2014 Jun;29(2):103-6. doi: 10.1016/s1001-9294(14)60036-5.


Objective: To investigate if immunological factors associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affect the result of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Methods: 100 RA cases were enrolled from January 2012 to February 2013 into this study. HIV screening was conducted with ECLIA detecting both HIV-1 p24 antigen, HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies, with ELISA and colloidal gold method detecting HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies. The samples producing positive results were submitted to the Center for Disease Control for confirmation using Western blotting method. The antibody titers of rheumatoid factors (RF) including RF-IgG, RF-IgM, RF-IgA, and CCP-IgG were analyzed by ELISA.

Results: The HIV positive-rate determined by ECLIA was significantly higher than that by ELISA and colloidal gold method (P<0.01). The false-positive rate of HIV screening was associated with antibody titers of RF-IgG, RF-IgM, RF-IgA, and CCP-IgG in RA (P<0.01).

Conclusions: Immunological factors, including RF and anti-CCP antibody, may influence the screening of HIV by ECLIA, producing false-positive result.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • False Positive Reactions
  • HIV Antibodies / blood
  • HIV Antigens / blood
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Rheumatoid Factor / physiology*


  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV Antigens
  • Rheumatoid Factor