Comparison of a multiplexed bead-based assay with an immunofluorescence and an enzyme-immuno assay for the assessment of Epstein-Barr virus serologic status

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2010 Dec;16(12):1776-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2010.03204.x.


We have compared a multiplexed bead-based assay (BBA) with an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for the assessment of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) serostatus. Three hundred and ninety-three sera, classified according to IFA results as seronegative (n=100), acute infection (n=100), past infection (n=100) and indeterminate (n=93), were tested by BBA and EIA. Overall, the three methods gave similar results with a relatively high (75.2%) concordance with the consensus interpretation of the serostatus. The most significant discordances were: (i) 58 samples had uninterpretable results for BBA, in majority due to the detection of non-antigen specific antibody binding by control beads. (ii) almost half the samples positive for anti-Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen (EBNA) IgG by BBA or EIA were negative by IFA. Among the latter, only a minority had a history of immunocompromise or treatment, or detectable anti-early antigen antibody. This discrepancy probably reflects a poor sensitivity of IFA for anti-EBNA IgG detection. EIA and BBA had a similar performance and had substantial practical advantages over IFA with respect to testing for EBV serostatus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Capsid Proteins / blood
  • Capsid Proteins / immunology
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / immunology
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / virology
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens / immunology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / methods*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques / methods*
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Microspheres
  • Rheumatoid Factor / blood
  • Virus Latency


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Capsid Proteins
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Rheumatoid Factor