Comparison and evaluation of different methodologies and tests for detection of anti-dsDNA antibodies on 889 Slovenian patients' and blood donors' sera

Croat Med J. 2011 Dec 15;52(6):694-702. doi: 10.3325/cmj.2011.52.694.


Aim: To evaluate four different commercially available assays for anti-double stranded DNA (dsDNA) detection and compare them with the in-house radioimmunoassay according to Farr (FARR-RIA) in order to select the optimal primary method for use in combination with FARR-RIA.

Methods: Sera from 583 consecutive patients sent to our laboratory for routine diagnosis, 156 selected patients with autoimmune diseases (76 systemic lupus erythematosus [SLE] patients and 80 patients with other autoimmune diseases), and 150 blood donors were tested for anti-dsDNA antibodies with two enzyme-linked immunoassays (ELISA), two Crithidia luciliae immunofluorescence tests (CLIFT), and FARR-RIA. The specificities and sensitivities of the tests were calculated and compared.

Results: FARR-RIA and CLIFT 2 showed the highest specificity for SLE (100%), with CLIFT 2 showing higher sensitivity (33% vs 47%). Both ELISAs showed higher sensitivities (>53%) than FARR-RIA but lower specificities (<93%), whereas CLIFT 1 showed the lowest overall agreement with FARR-RIA.

Conclusion: CLIFT 2 was selected as the primary test for use in combination with FARR-RIA. The use of CLIFT 2 reduced the number of sera that needed to be tested by FARR-RIA, the time needed to report the results, and environmental toxicity, cancerogenicity, and radioactivity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis*
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Blood Donors
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DNA / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / standards
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / methods
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / standards
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radioimmunoprecipitation Assay / methods
  • Radioimmunoprecipitation Assay / standards
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Slovenia


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • DNA