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J Immunol Methods. 1992 Oct 19;155(1):65-75.

Use of anti-peptide antibodies for the design of antigen-specific immune complex assays.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037.


A simple and sensitive method is described for the detection of circulating immune complexes (ICs) in an antigen-specific manner. The method is based on the use of anti-peptide antibodies as solid-phase capture reagents to bind antigen which is complexed to serum antibodies. The bound serum antibody is detected with a labelled second antibody. The method requires that the anti-peptide antibodies bind native protein efficiently, and that the anti-peptide antibodies do not compete with antibodies raised against the native protein which are involved in IC formation. Two anti-peptide antibodies specific for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and the hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), which possessed the requisite characteristics, were chosen as models for IC assay development. The solid-phase, anti-peptide based assays efficiently detected HBsAg and HBeAg-containing ICs in preformed antigen/antibody mixtures and in the serum of chronically infected hepatitis B patients.

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