The application of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or an immunofluorescent assay test leads to different estimates of seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in the population

Epidemiol Infect. 2012 Jan;140(1):36-41. doi: 10.1017/S0950268811000021. Epub 2011 Feb 15.


The diagnosis and epidemiological studies of Q fever depend on serology. Among the main methods employed are the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the immunofluorescent assay test (IFAT). We show that two commercial assays representing the two methods with two different cut-off titres can lead to significant differences in diagnostic and seroprevalence estimates. This in turn emphasizes the need for a standardized gold method to compare the various assays; whether this standard is 'in-house' or commercially obtained.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Coxiella burnetii / immunology
  • Coxiella burnetii / isolation & purification*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / standards
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / methods*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / standards
  • Humans
  • Q Fever / diagnosis*
  • Q Fever / epidemiology
  • Q Fever / immunology
  • Q Fever / microbiology
  • Reference Values
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies