Parietal cell antibody identified by ELISA is superior to immunofluorescence, rises with age and is associated with intrinsic factor antibody

Autoimmunity. 2012 Nov;45(7):527-32. doi: 10.3109/08916934.2012.702813. Epub 2012 Aug 21.


Parietal cell antibody is a marker for autoimmune gastritis. With identification of gastric H/K ATPase as its molecular target, ELISAs have been introduced. We compared performance of ELISA with immunofluorescence in a retrospective and prospective sera set and correlated the results with intrinsic factor antibody. In 138 retrospective sera selected for positivity or negativity for intrinsic factor antibody, 87 reacted with gastric H/K ATPase by Euroimm ELISA but only 62 reacted by immunofluorescencence.. Similar results were obtained with Inova ELISA with 78 positives that were also positive by Euroimm ELISA. In 161 prospective sera, 29 sera tested positive by ELISA compared to 24 by immunofluorescence. ELISA positive but immunofluoresnce negative sera are bona fide positives because a representative set of 16 sera reacted with both 95kD α and 60-90kDβ subunits of gastric H/K ATPase. ELISA values rose with age regardless of whether immunofluorescence tests were positive or negative. Of 53 sera containing antibody to intrinsic factor, 46/53 (87%) reacted to gastric H/K ATPase by ELISA. Taken together, the data indicates an enhanced detection rate by ELISA over immunofluorescence and validates it as a robust diagnostic assay for parietal cell antibody. As parietal cell antibody marks asymptomatic autoimmune gastritis that may progress to end stage gastric atrophy and haematological complications, and as autoimmune gastritis is associated with autoimmune thyroiditic and type 1 diabetes mellitus, early detection of parietal cell antibody by a sensitive ELISA will enable early follow-up of at risk subjects.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Erythrocytes, Abnormal / immunology
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gastritis / diagnosis*
  • Gastritis / immunology*
  • H(+)-K(+)-Exchanging ATPase / immunology
  • Hematologic Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Intrinsic Factor / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parietal Cells, Gastric / immunology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / immunology
  • Young Adult


  • Autoantibodies
  • Intrinsic Factor
  • H(+)-K(+)-Exchanging ATPase

Supplementary concepts

  • Macrocytosis, Familial