Quantitation of antibodies to varicella-zoster virus by immune adherence hemagglutination.
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Immune adherence hemagglutination was compared with the complement fixation test as a means of measuring antibodies to varicella-zoster virus. Analysis of acute- and convalescent-phase sera from patients infected with varicella-zoster or with herpes simplex virus showed the immune adherence hemagglutination test to be more sensitive than the complement fixation test, and greater cross-reactivity between the two viruses appeared to be associated with the increased sensitivity. The two assay methods were used to measure antibodies to varicella-zoster virus in 265 sera obtained from patients of different ages as well as sera from 26 patients with leukemia. There were 35 cases where antibodies were detected by immune adherence hemagglutination but not by complement fixation, whereas in five cases the converse was found. Our findings support the contention that immune adherence hemagglutination is the method of choice for detecting antibodies to varicella-zoster virus.
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