Specificity of the microimmunofluorescence assay for the serodiagnosis of Chlamydia pneumoniae infections

Can J Microbiol. 1992 Nov;38(11):1185-9. doi: 10.1139/m92-194.


Chlamydia pneumoniae infections are mostly confirmed using an indirect microimmunofluorescence test for which potential cross-reactions between antigens from different chlamydial species are not well documented. Using this assay, 928 sera (507 subjects) submitted for Chlamydia pneumoniae serology were tested for specific IgM and IgG to this bacteria using the TW-183 antigen. IgM and IgG reactivities to Chlamydia trachomatis serotypes C, D, E, and L2 and Chlamydia psittaci strain 6BC antigens were also tested. A sample was interpreted as positive only when evenly fluorescent elementary bodies were observed. Twenty-five subjects (4.9%) showed serological evidence of recent Chlamydia pneumoniae infection (IgM positive and (or) IgG seroconversion); 11 of them also showed serological evidence of recent infection with at least one other chlamydial species. Specificity was 50 and 63% for IgM and IgG detection, respectively. These results suggest that mixed or temporally related infections might occur, or, more likely, that some Chlamydia pneumoniae IgM or IgG reactivities might be due to heterotypic antibodies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chlamydia / immunology
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / immunology
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae* / immunology
  • Cross Reactions
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Serologic Tests / methods


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M