a1 Jeroen Bosch Ziekenhuis, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
a2 Centre for Infectious Disease Control Netherlands, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands
a3 Gelre Ziekenhuizen, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
The diagnosis and epidemiological studies of Q fever depend on serology. Among the main methods employed are the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the immunofluorescent assay test (IFAT). We show that two commercial assays representing the two methods with two different cut-off titres can lead to significant differences in diagnostic and seroprevalence estimates. This in turn emphasizes the need for a standardized gold method to compare the various assays; whether this standard is ‘in-house’ or commercially obtained.
(Accepted January 09 2011)
(Online publication February 15 2011)