Comparison of commercial enzyme immunoassay kits with plaque reduction neutralization test for detection of measles virus antibody.
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Four commercially available enzyme immunoassay (EIA) kits were evaluated in comparison with the plaque reduction neutralization (PRN) test for detection of measles virus antibody. The EIA kits, Enzygnost (Behring), Diamedix, Vidas (bioMerieux Vitek), and Measlestat (Biowhittaker), were assessed with two PRN cutoff titers: a PRN titer of 8, the lowest detectable antibody level by the PRN test under the test conditions, and a titer of 120, which has been shown to be the minimum protective antibody titer. At a PRN cutoff titer of 8, the sensitivity was 88.2, 91.1, 74.6, and 69.8% for Behring, Diamedix, Vidas, and Biowhittaker EIA tests, respectively, with negative predictive values ranging from 22.7 to 45.5%. The specificity was 93.8% for Diamedix and 100% for the rest. At a PRN cutoff titer of 120, the sensitivity and specificity, respectively, were 100 and 90.7% (Behring), 98.2 and 58.8% (Diamedix), 90.6 and 94.5% (Vidas), and 85.7 and 96.4% (Biowhittaker). At this PRN cutoff titer, the negative predictive values of all EIA tests improved considerably, ranging from 70.7 to 100%. The EIA results showed an excellent association with PRN results when the PRN titers of the test samples were either < 8 or > 1,052. Discrepancies occurred especially when testing samples having PRN titers in the range of 8 to 120, indicating lack of sensitivity of the EIA tests in detecting measles virus antibody at low levels. Maternally derived measles virus antibody at this level has been shown to interfere with measles vaccine response in children and hence has implications from the standpoint of measles immunization. The ready availability, ease of operation, and rapid turnaround time are strong plus points of the EIA kits, and they could be useful in a clinical laboratory setting for routine application, but they may have limited use in vaccine-related studies and seroepidemiological surveys.
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