Evaluation of an automated complement-fixation test (Seramat) for diagnosis of acute respiratory infections caused by viruses and atypical bacteria

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2004 Mar;10(3):220-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1198-743x.2004.00756.x.


The complement-fixation test (CFT) permits low-cost screening of serum samples for different agents within a single assay, and is a useful tool for the serological diagnosis of acute respiratory infections. This study evaluated the automated Seramat CFT system with 160 paired serum samples taken from 80 patients with acute respiratory infection in comparison with in-house CFTs against a panel of agents, including influenza A and B, adenovirus, respiratory syncitial virus, cytomegalovirus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Coxiella burnetti and Chlamydia spp., and in comparison with indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) against Legionella pneumophila. Overall, the Seramat system identified 75 (88.2%) of the 85 seroconversions recognised by in-house CFTs or IIF. In comparison to the in-house CFTs, the correlation was 89.2% (66/74). For L. pneumophila, the Seramat system detected nine (81.8%) of the 11 cases diagnosed by IIF. The Seramat system also identified eight additional seroconversions that were not detected by the in-house assays; none of these seroconversions was detected by the in-house assay on retesting. The Seramat system represents a significant technical improvement that may enable many clinical laboratories to use the CFT as a routine diagnostic tool.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis
  • Complement Fixation Tests / methods*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Humans
  • Legionnaires' Disease / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / diagnosis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Virus Diseases / diagnosis