Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Chem. 1999 Jul;45(7):942-56.

Human anti-animal antibody interferences in immunological assays.

Author information

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Erratum in

  • Clin Chem 2000 Oct;46(10):1722.



The scope and significance of human anti-animal antibody interference in immunological assays is reviewed with an emphasis on human anti-animal immunoglobulins, particularly human anti-mouse antibodies (HAMAs).


Anti-animal antibodies (IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE class, anti-isotype, and anti-idiotype specificity) arise as a result of iatrogenic and noniatrogenic causes and include human anti-mouse, -rabbit, -goat, -sheep, -cow, -pig, -rat, and -horse antibodies and antibodies with mixed specificity. Circulating antibodies can reach gram per liter concentrations and may persist for years. Prevalence estimates for anti-animal antibodies in the general population vary widely and range from <1% to 80%. Human anti-animal antibodies cause interferences in immunological assays. The most common human anti-animal antibody interferent is HAMA, which causes both positive and negative interferences in two-site mouse monoclonal antibody-based assays. Strategies to prevent the development of human anti-animal antibody responses include immunosuppressant therapy and the use of humanized, polyethylene glycolylated, or Fab fragments of antibody agents. Sample pretreatment or assay redesign can eliminate immunoassay interferences caused by anti-animal antibodies. Enzyme immunoassays, immunoradiometric assays, immunofluorescence, and HPLC assays have been designed to detect HAMA and other anti-animal antibodies, but intermethod comparability is complicated by differences in assay specificity and lack of standardization.


Human anti-animal antibodies often go unnoticed, to the detriment of patient care. A heightened awareness on the part of laboratory staff and clinicians of the problems caused by this type of interference in routine immunoassay tests is desirable. Efforts should be directed at improving methods for identifying and eliminating this type of analytical interference.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center