PAML offers basic and advanced testing options in the areas of bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology to address the clinical needs of the patient. Methodologies available for diagnostics include advance molecular genetics, and serology-based immune, antigen, and culture assays. Assays can be utilized for screening, diagnosis, determining therapy options, and to monitor therapy. A large focus of our expertise is in STDs, HIV, and opportunistic infections of immunosuppressed patients.
HIV Test Methodology and Screening Update
On September 13, 2016, PAML will fully adopt the CDC Recommended HIV Diagnostic Testing Algorithm, and in doing so, will discontinue 3rd Generation HIV 1/2 Ab testing as well as the HIV-1 Western Blot confirmatory test. The decision to discontinue these tests is in an effort to provide more rapid, accurate, and comprehensive diagnostic testing results, and to enhance the detection of acute HIV infections.
At the same time, PAML will also convert to the first FDA approved 5th generation HIV Ag/Ab combination assay which allows for the simultaneous qualitative detection and differentiation between HIV-1 antibodies (groups M & O), HIV-2 antibodies, and HIV-1 p24 antigen in human serum or plasma specimens. Use of the 5th Generation HIV 1/2 Ag/Ab combination assay allows results of antibody and antigen detection to be reported separately and to differentiate between HIV-1 and HIV-2 reactivity. This information can be useful for selection of additional, more specific supplemental testing to classify and stage HIV disease, and to assist in the selection of an initial antiretroviral drug regimen.
Test codes to be eliminated: 12HIVR, 1HIVWB, HIV3GM, HIV4GM
New order codes: HIV12P, HIVDF
For further details on clinical application and specific test information, refer to our Lab Test Connect.
(H. pylori) Why Serology Testing Isn’t Recommended
A May 2012 Lancet article states “H. pylori is one of six common infections that lead to cancer—it is preventable with early detection”.
- H. pylori is one of the most common bacterial infections in humans; 30%-40% of the US population is infected.
- H. pylori causes 75%-80% of the Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD) cases.
- In the U.S. there are more than 6 million cases annually resulting in an annual cost of $6 billion.1,2 Patients infected with H. pylori have a higher risk of developing gastric cancer.
The American College of Gastroenterology no longer recommends serology for detection of H. pylori infection. A positive serology only determines that a patient has been exposed to H. pylori at some time in the past, but not whether the patient is currently infected. Studies indicate that about half of persons with a positive H. pylori serology do not have active infection (ACG, 2007). Moreover, serology cannot be used to show that H. pylori have been successfully eradicated after treatment, as antibody levels commonly remain elevated for months to years after treatment.
PAML currently offers two different test types that meet the recommendations of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and American Gastroenterological Associations (AGA). Both the BreathTek® Urea Breath Test (UBT) and stool antigen test (HpSA®) offer high sensitivity and specificity – providing results you can have confidence in for diagnosing, therapeutic monitoring, and test of cure.
1. American College Gastroenterology Guidelines for Management of Dyspepsia, AJG,2005 2. American Gastroenterological Association Technical Review on the Evaluation of Dyspepsia. Gastroenterology 2005; 129:1756-1780