Epidemiology and Infection

Correlation of IgA, IgM and IgG antibody-detecting assays based on filamentous haemagglutinin, pertussis toxin and Bordetella pertussis sonicate in a strictly adult population

E. KLEMENT a1c1, N. KAGAN a1, L. HAGAIN a1, R. KAYOUF a1, J. BOXMAN a1, D. COHEN a2 and N. ORR a1
a1 Centre for Vaccine Development and Evaluation, Medical Corps, IDF, Israel
a2 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel

Article author query
klement e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
kagan n   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hagain l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
kayouf r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
boxman j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
cohen d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
orr n   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Pertussis diagnosis among adults is primarily based on serology. In this study, receiver operation characteristics (ROC) analysis was utilized to evaluate three IgA, IgM and IgG ELISAs based on B. pertussis whole-cell sonicate (WC), pertussis toxin (PT), or combined PT-filamentous haemagglutinin (FHA) antigens in a healthy adult population and in adults suffering from symptoms consistent with pertussis. The assays were compared to a PT and FHA reference ELISA. The reference assay showed high correlation with PT- and PT-FHA-based ELISAs but low correlation was found with the WC-based ELISA. However, ROC analysis indicated that all the assays enabled fine differentiation between healthy subjects and subjects suffering from symptoms suggestive of pertussis. The WC IgA ELISA showed the best diagnostic performance [highest specificity (98·8%) with highest sensitivity (53·8%)]. We conclude that despite a low correlation between the various assays they all carry good diagnostic capability for an adult population.

(Accepted September 6 2004)

c1 Dr E. Klement, Center for Vaccine Development and Evaluation, Medical Corps, IDF, M.P. 02149, Israel. (Email: Klement@agri.huji.ac.il)