Validation of a microsphere immunoassay for serological leptospirosis diagnosis in human serum by comparison to the current gold standard
Wynwood, SJ and Burns, M-A and Graham, GC and Weier, SL and McKay, DB and Craig, SB, Validation of a microsphere immunoassay for serological leptospirosis diagnosis in human serum by comparison to the current gold standard, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9, (3) Article e0003636. ISSN 1935-2727 (2014) [Refereed Article]
A microsphere immunoassay (MIA) utilising Luminex xMap technology that is capable of determining leptospirosis IgG and IgM independently was developed. The MIA was validated using 200 human samples submitted for routine leptospirosis serology testing. The traditional microscopic agglutination (MAT) method (now 100 years old) suffers from a significant range of technical problems including a dependence on antisera which is difficult to source and produce, false positive reactions due to auto-agglutination and an inability to differentiate between IgG and IgM antibodies. A comparative validation method of the MIA against the MAT was performed and used to determine the ability of the MIA to detect leptospiral antibodies when compared with the MAT. The assay was able to determine samples in the reactive, equivocal and non-reactive ranges when compared to the MAT and was able to differentiate leptospiral IgG antibodies from leptospiral IgM antibodies. The MIA is more sensitive than the MAT and in true infections was able to detect low levels of antibody in the later stages of the acute phase as well as detect higher levels of IgM antibody earlier in the immune phase of the infection. The relatively low cost, high throughput platform and significantly reduced dependency on large volumes of rabbit antisera make this assay worthy of consideration for any microbiological assay that currently uses agglutination assays.