Comparison of ELISA and indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay detecting Coxiella burnetii IgM phase II for the diagnosis of acute Q fever

Meekelenkamp, J.; Schneeberger, P.; Wever, P.; Leenders, A.
June 2012
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases;Jun2012, Vol. 31 Issue 6, p1267
Academic Journal
A commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) detecting Coxiella burnetii phase II-specific IgM for the diagnosis of acute Q fever was compared with indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay (IFA). IFA is the current reference method for the detection of antibodies against C. burnetii, but has disadvantages because the judgment of fluorescence is subjective and tiring, and the test is expensive and automation is not possible. To examine whether phase II IgM ELISA could be used as a screening assay for acute Q fever, we compared the sensitivity and specificity of IFA and ELISA. The sensitivity of the IFA and ELISA tests were 100 and 85.7%, respectively, with a specificity of 95.3 and 97.6%, respectively. Because of the high sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA in combination with the practical disadvantages of the IFA, we introduced a new algorithm to screen samples of patients with symptoms of acute Q fever infection.


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