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J Virol Methods. 2001 Apr;93(1-2):89-96.

Evaluation of a recombinant line blot for diagnosis of Epstein-Barr Virus compared with ELISA, using immunofluorescence as reference method.

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Department of Virology, University of Homburg/Saar, Kirrbergerstr. Haus 47, D-66421 Hombury Saar, Germany.


A commercial line blot using recombinant antigens was compared with a commercial ELISA and 'in-house' IFA (reference test). Two panels were evaluated: Panel A was selected to distinguish between primary infections (89), past infections (20) and seronegatives (8) in immunocompetent individuals. In panel B, patients with a high number of reactivations were included: immunosuppressed patients (37), lymphoma (19), nasopharyngeal carcinoma (10), chronic fatigue syndrome (14). Blood donors (43) and cross-reactive sera (29) were added as controls. Line blot and IFA were concordant in 94% of primary infections, 100% of seronegatives and 100% of past infections, similar to ELISA. Results differed significantly with regard to reactivations. When compared with IFA, the incidence of reactivations was overestimated by the blot, 24 and 58% in blood donors and cross-reactive sera, respectively. ELISA showed a similar problems with 21 and 34% indeterminate results, respectively. The line blot is easy to carry out, has a good concordance with the reference IFA for primary infections, and is, therefore, a sufficient choice for distinguishing primary infection from seronegative and past infection. EBV reactivation assessment will require other methods such as EBV viral load.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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