Quanterix Corporation announced today that the Journal of Virological Methods published a key study describing the application of its ultra-sensitive single-molecule digital immunoassay, Simoa, to HIV detection, achieving results with 3,000 times greater analytical sensitivity than conventional immunoassays. Simoa's sensitivity is comparable to the far more costly gold standard of nucleic acid testing (NAT). The paper describes using Simoa technology for counting individual molecules of p24 capsid protein (a component of HIV virus particles) in the blood, which indicates the presence of HIV virus.
"In the first days and weeks following HIV infection, a patient is particularly contagious as the virus multiplies rapidly before the onset of an immune response," explains David Wilson, Ph.D., vice president of product development at Quanterix and the paper's lead author. "The earliest detection possible during this acute phase is critical for controlling the spread of the disease, as well as ensuring blood donated by recently infected individuals does not enter the blood supply.Â Until now, NAT was the most sensitive method for early acute HIV detection, but its use is cost prohibitive for routine HIV screening, particularly in lower resource settings.Â Our data indicate that acute HIV infection can be detected with a simple, low-cost Simoa digital immunoassay as early as NAT methods."
"The fact that we can achieve sensitivity comparable to the gold standard of PCR for HIV detection but at a fraction of the cost by using conventional ELISA reagents is remarkable," said Paul Chapman, president and chief executive officer of Quanterix. "Not only does this research have significant implications for blood banking and HIV detection, but it also opens up a whole new set of commercial applications historically thought to be only achievable with NAT."
Quanterix is a developer of ground-breaking tools in high definition diagnostics. Its Simoa platform uses single molecule measurements to access previously undetectable proteins. With this unprecedented sensitivity and full automation, Simoa offers significant benefits to both research and clinical testing applications. Quanterix was established in 2007 and is located in Lexington, Massachusetts.