Evaluation of three commercial varicella-zoster virus IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays in comparison to the fluorescent-antibody-to-membrane-antigen test

Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2012 Aug;19(8):1261-8. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00183-12. Epub 2012 Jun 20.


Commercial serologic assays for varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which enable reliable determination of VZV immune status and are amenable to automation, are needed. The present study compares the automated performance of the VZV whole-cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) Enzygnost anti-VZV/IgG, the Euroimmun anti-VZV ELISA (IgG) based on highly purified viral proteins, and the VZV glycoprotein (gp)-based Serion ELISA Classic VZV IgG. The fluorescent-antibody-to-membrane-antibody (FAMA) test was used as a reference. A total of 638 serum samples from VZV-negative children, blood donors, varicella vaccinees, and bone marrow transplant recipients were included. The Enzygnost anti-VZV/IgG and the Serion ELISA Classic VZV IgG showed sensitivities of 99.6% and 99.2%, respectively, and the Euroimmun anti-VZV ELISA (IgG) had a significantly lower sensitivity of 90.5%. Specificity was calculated as 100% for both the Euroimmun anti-VZV ELISA (IgG) and for the Enzygnost anti-VZV/IgG, and the Serion ELISA Classic VZV IgG had a significantly lower specificity of 89.4%. Quantitative results of all ELISAs correlated well, but there was a poor quantitative correlation between the ELISAs and FAMA. In conclusion, this study does not show any superiority of a gp- and a protein-based ELISA compared to a whole-cell ELISA for the automated detection of VZV-specific IgG. The automated performance of the Enzygnost anti-VZV/IgG assay correlated best with the FAMA reference assay.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Automation / methods
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / methods
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G