Detection of anti-dna antibodies: A comparison between two farr assays, Crithidia luciliae and a human chromosomal substrate assay

P. G. Tipping, R. R.C. Buchanan, A. G. Riglar, W. J. Dimech, G. O. Littlejohn, S. R. Holdsworth

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Four commercially available assays were compared with a 14C DNA Farr assay for their ability to detect anti-DNA antibodies in 119 sera from 109 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and 25 control sera. The 14C DNA Farr assay was the most sensitive and specific assay (SLE, 57% positive, controls, 0%). A commercial 125I DNA Farr assay was significantly less sensitive (SLE, 39% positive). The fluorescence human chromosomal preparation assay was as sensitive as the 14C DNA Farr assay (SLE, 58% positive) but less specific (controls, 8% positive). The immunofluorescence Crithidia luciliae assay was specific, but less sensitive (SLE, 37% positive) than the MC DNA Farr assay. Adaptation of Crithidia to immunoperoxidase did not alter its sensitivity or performance. These results confirm that the 14C DNA Farr assay, locally refined and performed by experienced hands, is the most sensitive and specific assay for anti-DNA antibodies. The 125I DNA Farr was no more sensitive than the Crithidia assay but considerably more laborious. The human chromosomal preparation may be suitable as a rapid screening test for anti-DNA antibodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-210
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1988


  • Anti-DNA antibodies
  • Crithidia luciliae
  • Fair assay
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

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