Dried blood spots (DBS): A valuable tool for HIV surveillance in developing/tropical countries

S. S. Solomon, S. Solomon, I. I. Rodriguez, S. T. McGarvey, A. K. Ganesh, S. P. Thyagarajan, A. P. Mahajan, K. H. Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Dried blood spots (DBS) on filter paper have been used as a practical method of sample collection in sero-surveillance studies of numerous diseases. DBS may be particularly useful for HIV screening in remote areas, in which unrefrigerated transfer time to a laboratory may take a number of days. In this study, we evaluate the ability to detect human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type-1 antibodies from DBS that have been subjected to a tropical climate in southern India for 6 days. DBS were prepared from blood samples of 59 known HIV-positive individuals and 30 known HIV-negative individuals. ELISA and Western blot results from DBS that were subjected to a mean temperature of 35.8°C and humidity of 73% for 6 days had a sensitivity of 100% and 92%, respectively, and a specificity of 100% and 100%, respectively. Based on these findings, we conclude that DBS sampling could serve as a cost-effective and convenient tool for widespread HIV sero-surveillance in remote areas within tropical countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-28
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Dried blood spots
  • HIV
  • HIV surveillance
  • India
  • Laboratory tool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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