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.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2010 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.