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October 24, 1986

More on HTLV-III Antibodies in Immune Globulin

Author Affiliations

USAF School of Aerospace Medicine Brooks Air Force Base, Tex

JAMA. 1986;256(16):2200. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380160058018

To the Editor.—  Recently, concern has been raised about the passive transmission of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III) antibodies during immune globulin (IG) administration.1 Some contend that these antibodies could cause a transient "false-positive" reaction on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) screening tests for the HTLV-III antibody. The military services administer IG to large numbers of personnel on active duty and also screen all military personnel for evidence of HTLV-III antibodies. Any transient positive screening results caused by the administration of IG would, therefore, have a significant impact on the military program. White et al2 indicated that hypogammaglobulinemic patients demonstrated increased HTLV-III antibody absorbance values following infusion of IG. However, these increases were not great enough to exceed the cutoff range of positivity. Such results are not surprising when one considers the dilution involved. We conducted a serological study, using ELISA methodology, to assess the effect of