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J Immunol Methods. 1987 May 4;99(1):53-8.

Enumeration of CR1 complement receptors on erythrocytes using a new method for detecting low density cell surface antigens by flow cytometry.


A sensitive enhancing system was developed for detecting low density cell surface antigen by flow cytometry. The system termed the 'super avidin-biotin system' (SABS) uses biotinylated antibody, phycoerythrin-streptavidin (StreptA-PE), biotinylated goat anti-streptavidin antibody, and StreptA-PE. CR1 complement receptor antigenic sites were quantified on erythrocytes from healthy individuals and patients with antibodies against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) using SABS and a conventional radioimmunoassay (RIA) with monoclonal anti-CR1 antibody. As little as 50 sites/cell were detected using either SABS or RIA. Accurate quantification of CR1 antigenic sites was achieved within the range of 100-1300 sites/cell. Similar results were obtained using either of the two methods. Intra-assay and day-to-day reproducibilities using SABS were 2% and 12% respectively, comparable to those of conventional RIA measurements. In addition to enumeration of CR1 on erythrocytes for clinical purposes, the use of SABS may probably be extended to a wide number of situations where a sensitive detection of low density cell surface antigen is needed.

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