HIV p24-gag

HIV infection can be demonstrated by Immunohistochemistry using an antibody against the p24-gag viral capsid protein.

Immunohistochemical expression

In a retrospective study of 240 cases of hyperplastic lymphadenopathy without a history of HIV infection, four cases were identified by immunohistochemistry as positive for the p24-gag protein; HIV infection was subsequently confirmed by serological examination. Staining is localised to follicular dendritic cells.

Cutaneous Langerhans cells are immunoreactive for p24-gag in early infection, even prior to seroconversion2.

Diagnostic utility

Diagnosis of HIV infection on tissue sections showing lymphadenopathy.


1 de Paiva GR, Laurent C, Godel A, et al. Discovery of human immunodeficiency virus infection by immunohistochemistry on lymph node biopsies from patients with unexplained follicular hyperplasia. Am J Surg Pathol 2007; 31:1534-8

2 Simonitsch I, Geusau A, Chott A, et al. Cutaneous dendritic cells are main targets in acute HIV-1-infection. Mod Pathol 2000; 13:1232-7

This page last revised 4.2.2008.



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