Background: Multiplexed assays using fluorescence microspheres is an exciting technology with multiple applications including the detection of antinuclear autoantibodies (ANA) and autoantibody profiles. It is a rapid, sensitive and automatic method for simultaneous quantitative detection of several autoantibodies. The aim of our study was to determinate ANA and other autoantibodies to the nine extractable nuclear antigens by the AtheNA Multi-Lyte ANA system and compare the results achieved by this method to the routinely used enzyme immunoassay.
Methods: Four hundred eighteen serum samples were tested utililizing the multiplexed method: 96 healthy donors, 86 requested ANA specimens obtained from routine lab, and 236 samples from patients with known autoimmune diseases (43-scleroderma, 113-systemic lupus erythematosus, 38-Sjogren's syndrome, and 42 rheumatoid arthritis). The ANA and antibodies to nine different analytes (SS/A, SS/B, Sm, RNP, Jo-1, Scl-70, dsDNA, Centromere B and Histone) were tested.
Results: ANA screening by AtheNA system revealed high concordance of 99 and 97.7% with the enzyme immunoassay test in samples obtained from healthy donors and ANA requested samples, respectively. Evaluation of autoimmune disease-related samples for ANA by AtheNA technology also confirmed a high rate of concordance of 92-97.7% and correlated with the enzyme immunoassay. Positive discrepant results were found for Scl-70 specificity in 12.7% of SLE specimens by AtheNA technology, while all tested sera were negative for this antibody by enzyme immunoassay. Negative discrepant results were observed by the AtheNA system for anti-dsDNA. The sera (15 randomly obtained samples from SLE patients) were positive for anti-dsDNA in 50% of samples in Farr assay and 55% in enzyme immunoassay, respectively.
Conclusion: We suggest that the AtheNA technology may be a useful diagnostic tool for ANA screening. Additional investigations are required to compare an analytic performance between AtheNA and routine methods in determination of the individual autoantibody profile.