Comparison of complement fixation with two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the detection of antibodies to respiratory viral antigens

Am J Clin Pathol. 2006 Mar;125(3):460-6.


We compared complement fixation (CF) for the measurement of antibodies against influenza A, influenza B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human adenovirus, and parainfluenza viruses 1, 2, and 3 (para-1, para-2, and para-3) with 2 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA kits, A and B). The IgG ELISA kits compared very well with each other except for the influenza A and B IgG ELISAs. The IgG ELISAs, in general, did not agree with CF In contrast, the IgM ELISAs compared well with CF and each other except for the consensus parainfluenza panel from ELISA B. The poor agreement of the IgG ELISAs with the CF test can be explained by the increased sensitivity of the ELISAs and differences between CF antigens and the ELISA antigens. The influenza A and influenza B ELISA antigens differed between both kits, which may explain their poor agreement. The ELISA is a suitable replacement for CF, providing greater sensitivity, isotype specificity, and ease of use.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Viral / analysis*
  • Complement Fixation Tests*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods*
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / immunology
  • Influenza A virus / isolation & purification
  • Influenza B virus / immunology
  • Influenza B virus / isolation & purification
  • Influenza, Human
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / immunology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / isolation & purification
  • Respiratory Tract Infections* / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Tract Infections* / immunology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections* / virology
  • Respirovirus / immunology
  • Respirovirus / isolation & purification


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic