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J Immunol Methods. 2012 Aug 31;382(1-2):76-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2012.05.007. Epub 2012 May 9.

Autoantibody detection in bullous pemphigoid: clinical evaluation of the EUROPLUS™ Dermatology Mosaic.

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  • 1Laboratory of Clinical Immunology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is an autoimmune blistering skin disease. Autoantibodies to BP180 and BP230 can be detected by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) on different substrates (oesophagus, salt-split-skin, BP180-antigen dots, BP230-transfected cells) and ELISA. Here, we compared test characteristics of these test systems. We analysed sera from BP patients (n=60) in whom the clinical diagnosis had been confirmed histopathologically. The control cohort comprised sera from patients with other autoimmune-associated (n=22) or inflammatory (n=35) skin diseases. All samples were tested by IIF (EUROIMMUN™ Dermatology Mosaic) and ELISA (EUROIMMUN and MBL). Anti-BP180 is best detected with BP180-antigen dots by IIF (sensitivity: 88%; specificity: 97%). As compared to IIF, the differences with both BP180 ELISA techniques are small though. Likelihood ratios (LRs) for positive and negative test results are >10 and between 0.1 and 0.2, respectively, for all test systems. Detection of anti-BP230 is highly variable (sensitivity range 38-60%; specificity range 83-98%). Only the IIF test reveals a LR for positive test results >10. Since the LRs for a negative test are all ~0.5, negative test results for anti-BP230 antibodies do not help to exclude BP. In conclusion, the multi-parameter IIF test reveals a good diagnostic performance in BP. Since this test simultaneously allows for the detection of anti-Dsg1 and anti-Dsg3 antibodies, involved in pemphigus foliaceus and vulgaris, a single test-incubation may be sufficient to differentiate between the most frequent autoimmune blistering diseases.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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