Objective. To analyze the performance of different commercial enzyme immunoassay (EIA) kits for measuring antibody levels of antinuclear antibodies (ANA) specific for double stranded (ds) DNA, SSB/La, Sm, and Scl-70. Methods. Twenty companies that were known major purveyors of EIA kits for detection of ANA were approached to determine their interest and willingness to participate in this study. The manufacturers were advised that they would be sent coded sera containing mixtures of the Arthritis Foundation/Centers for Disease Control reference reagents, and that they were to use their own test kits to analyze the antibody specificities of these sera and to report the data, in optical density (OD) units, or their equivalent. The analysts were blinded to the concentration of the antibodies and the specificities. Results. Initially, 11 manufacturers out of 20 agreed to participate, but 2 subsequently withdrew. The commercial EIA kits have the potential of being able to quantitate specific autoantibody content to ds-DNA, SSB/La, Sm, and Scl-70. However, certain deficiencies in these kits were also detected, the most obvious being lack of uniformly good performance, with kits of certain manufacturers showing exceptional accuracy in 3 out of 4 of their antibody-specific kits and poor accuracy for a 4th kit. Conclusion. It is important for clinicians to appreciate that there is marked inter-manufacturer variation in the performance of EIA kits used as an aid in the diagnosis of systemic rheumatic diseases. Manufacturers need to exercise constant surveillance of kit performance and to provide assurance that such is being done. Improved EIA kits would lend themselves to reliable quantitation of antibody levels in human sera and help to determine whether serial measurement of antibody levels might be useful in monitoring disease activity.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Rheumatology|
|State||Published - Jan 16 2002|
- Diagnostic kits
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy