Send to

Choose Destination
Autoimmunity. 2005 Feb;38(1):55-63.

Anti-Ro/SSA and La/SSB antibodies.

Author information

Servizio di Reumatologia, Allergologia, Immunologia Clinica Spedali Civili di Brescia, Italy.


The Ro/La system is considered as an heterogeneous antigenic complex, constituted by three different proteins (52 kDa Ro, 60 kDa Ro and La) and four small RNAs particles. Anti-Ro/SSA are the most prevalent specificity among many autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), SS/SLE overlap syndrome, subacute cutaneous LE (SCLE), neonatal lupus and primary biliary cirrhosis. In contrast, anti-La/SSB is more associated with Sjögren's syndrome (SS). The differences between 52 kDa, 60 kDa Ro and La could explain why different assays did not show equivalent performance in anti-Ro and anti-La autoantibodies detection. The RNA precipitation assay had the highest sensitivity and specificity, usually considered as the reference methods. CIE is considered the most reliable to detect anti-Ro/SSA antibodies in routine practice, performing better than immunoblotting (IB) and some ELISAs. It shows a high sensitivity (89%) and specificity (100%). ELISA is generally considered a safe, rapid, sensitive and specific tecnique. Therefore, its high sensitivity often corresponds to a very low clinical specificity and the assay can give false positive results. Therefore, it is very important to search anti-Ro and anti-La only in selected patients, using the assay with high specificity and good predictive value, in order to have clinically significant and true positive results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center