Development of internal controls for the Luminex instrument as part of a multiplex seven-analyte viral respiratory antibody profile

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2002 Jan;9(1):41-5. doi: 10.1128/cdli.9.1.41-45.2002.


The ability of the Luminex system to simultaneously quantitate multiple analytes from a single sample source has proven to be a feasible and cost-effective technology for assay development. In previous studies, my colleagues and I introduced two multiplex profiles consisting of 20 individual assays into the clinical laboratory. With the Luminex instrument's ability to classify up to 100 distinct microspheres, however, we have only begun to realize the enormous potential of this technology. By utilizing additional microspheres, it is now possible to add true internal controls to each individual sample. During the development of a seven-analyte serologic viral respiratory antibody profile, internal controls for detecting sample addition and interfering rheumatoid factor (RF) were investigated. To determine if the correct sample was added, distinct microspheres were developed for measuring the presence of sufficient quantities of immunoglobulin G (IgG) or IgM in the diluted patient sample. In a multiplex assay of 82 samples, the IgM verification control correctly identified 23 out of 23 samples with low levels (<20 mg/dl) of this antibody isotype. An internal control microsphere for RF detected 30 out of 30 samples with significant levels (>10 IU/ml) of IgM RF. Additionally, RF-positive samples causing false-positive adenovirus and influenza A virus IgM results were correctly identified. By exploiting the Luminex instrument's multiplexing capabilities, I have developed true internal controls to ensure correct sample addition and identify interfering RF as part of a respiratory viral serologic profile that includes influenza A and B viruses, adenovirus, parainfluenza viruses 1, 2, and 3, and respiratory syncytial virus. Since these controls are not assay specific, they can be incorporated into any serologic multiplex assay.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Influenza A virus / immunology
  • Microspheres
  • Parainfluenza Virus 1, Human / immunology
  • Parainfluenza Virus 2, Human / immunology
  • Parainfluenza Virus 3, Human / immunology
  • Reference Standards
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / immunology
  • Rheumatoid Factor / blood


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Rheumatoid Factor