Approach to validating an opsonophagocytic assay for Streptococcus pneumoniae

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2005 Feb;12(2):287-95. doi: 10.1128/CDLI.12.2.287-295.2005.


Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) polysaccharide serotype-specific antibodies that have opsonophagocytic activity are considered a primary mechanism of host defense against pneumococcal disease. In vitro opsonophagocytic assays (OPAs) with antibody and complement to mediate opsonophagocytic killing of bacteria have been designed and developed as an adjunct to the standardized serum immunoglobulin G antipneumococcal capsular polysaccharide enzyme immunoassay to assess the effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccines. OPA presents challenges for assay standardization and assay precision due to the multiple biologically active and labile components involved in the assay, including human polymorphonuclear leukocytes or cultured effector cells, bacteria, and complement. Control of these biologically labile components is critical for consistent assay performance. An approach to validating the performance of the assay in accordance with International Conference for Harmonization guidelines, including its specificity, intermediate precision, accuracy, linearity, and robustness, is presented. Furthermore, we established parameters for universal reagents and standardization of the use of these reagents to ensure the interlaboratory reproducibility and validation of new methodologies.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / standards*
  • Opsonin Proteins / immunology*
  • Phagocytes / immunology
  • Pneumococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Pneumococcal Infections / immunology
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Opsonin Proteins