Western Blot Activity

Viral Proteins and Band Pattern Interpretation

Viral Proteins

HIV, like any other virus, is composed of a number of different proteins. The Western blot positive control lane contains proteins from patient sera as well as HIV proteins. HIV positivity can therefore only be confirmed by the presence of the following types of proteins:

gp160 viral envelope precursor (env)
gp120 viral envelope protein (env) binds to CD4
p24 viral core protein (gag)
p31 reverse transcriptase (pol)

Band Pattern Interpretation

Background information on the HIV Western blot test. In 1987 the Centers for Disease Control along with several other organizations established criteria for serologic interpretation of HIV Western blot tests. The criteria are listed below.

No bands present Negative
Bands at either p31 OR p24 AND bands present at either gp160 OR gp120 Positive
Bands present, but pattern does not meet criteria for positivity Indeterminate

Band pattern Interpretation

  1. Lane 1, HIV+ serum (positive control)
  2. Lane 2, HIV- serum (negative control)
  3. Lane A, Patient A
  4. Lane B, Patient B
  5. Lane C, Patient C

The Biology Project
University of Arizona
Wednesday, Jan 15, 1998
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