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J Biol Stand. 1988 Oct;16(4):287-97.

The toxin binding inhibition test as a reliable in vitro alternative to the toxin neutralization test in mice for the estimation of tetanus antitoxin in human sera.

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Laboratory for Control of Bacterial Vaccines, National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


A method for the screening of human sera for tetanus antibodies has been developed and evaluated. The toxin binding inhibition test (ToBI-test) is based on inhibition of the binding of tetanus toxin to an antitoxin-coated immunoassay microtitre plate by tetanus antibodies. Serum samples from 191 healthy adults with different vaccination histories have been titrated for tetanus antibodies by the toxin neutralization (TN) test in mice, by toxoid-ELISA and by the ToBI-test. In every respect, the ToBI-test proved to be the best in vitro alternative to the TN-test in mice. Comparisons showed a higher degree of correlation between the ToBI-test and the TN-test than between the toxoid-ELISA and the TN-test. Furthermore, no overestimation of antibody content was seen in titrating low titre sera by the ToBI-test. In contrast, several false positive results were seen when using the toxoid-ELISA. It is concluded that the ToBI-test is a reliable and precise alternative to the TN-test and can be performed under simple laboratory conditions in a short time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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