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J Virol Methods. 2005 Dec;130(1-2):59-65. Epub 2005 Jul 18.

Assessment of IgM enzyme immunoassay and IgG avidity assay for distinguishing between primary and secondary immune response to rubella vaccine.

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School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 14155, Iran.


The primary test for the laboratory confirmation of rubella is IgM serology. It is important to distinguish IgM reactivity caused by primary infection from that caused by reinfection or persistence, especially in pregnant women; as termination of pregnancy is considered when primary rubella is diagnosed during the first trimester. In this study, the performance of rubella IgM enzyme immunoassay (IgM-EIA) and rubella IgG avidity assay were compared using well-defined panels of sera from persons vaccinated against rubella and commercial rubella IgM and IgG enzyme immunoassay kits (Dade Behring, Marburg, Germany). The sensitivity and specificity of rubella IgM-EIA were found to be 77.4 and 97.9%, respectively, while the results for rubella IgG avidity assay were 100 and 100%. IgG avidity assay showed higher positive and negative predictive values than the IgM-EIA (100 and 100% compare to 96.9 and 82.9%). In conclusion, the rubella IgG avidity assay is more sensitive and specific than IgM-EIA for differential detection of primary rubella infection from rubella reinfection.

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