The European Sero-Epidemiology Network: standardizing the enzyme immunoassay results for measles, mumps and rubella

Epidemiol Infect. 2000 Aug;125(1):127-41. doi: 10.1017/s0950268899004173.


The ESEN (European Sero-Epidemiology Network) project was established to harmonize the seroepidemiology of five vaccine preventable infections including measles, mumps and rubella in eight European countries. This involved achieving comparability both in the assay results from testing in different centres and also sampling methodology. Standardization of enzyme immunoassay results was achieved through the development of common panels of sera by designated reference centres. The panels were tested at the reference laboratory and then distributed to each participating laboratory for testing using their routine methods. Standardization equations were calculated by regressing the quantitative results against those of the reference laboratory. Our study found large differences in unitage between participants, despite all using an EIA method standardized against an international or local standard. Moreover, our methodology adjusted for this difference. These standardization equations will be used to convert the results of main serosurvey testing into the reference country unitage to ensure inter-country comparability.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques / standards*
  • Measles / blood
  • Measles / epidemiology*
  • Measles / immunology
  • Measles / prevention & control
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine*
  • Mumps / blood
  • Mumps / epidemiology*
  • Mumps / immunology
  • Mumps / prevention & control
  • Reference Standards
  • Regression Analysis
  • Rubella / blood
  • Rubella / epidemiology*
  • Rubella / immunology
  • Rubella / prevention & control
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine