A simple screening method for individuals at risk of developing type 1 diabetes: measurement of islet cell autoantibodies (GADA, IA-2A, and IAA) on dried capillary blood spots collected on filter paper

Horm Metab Res. 2012 Oct;44(11):855-60. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1316349. Epub 2012 Aug 14.


There is limited information regarding the use of dried capillary blood spots collected on a filter paper (FP) to test for islet cell antibodies. The aim of this study was to validate the use of dried capillary blood spots collected on a FP for the analysis of islet cell antibodies. FP eluates were tested using both single and combined assay for antibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GADA) and/or to the protein tyrosine phosphatase like IA-2 (IA-2A), and a single assay for antibodies to insulin (IAA). The results were compared with those of serum assays. Ninety-one subjects were studied. Forty had Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and 51 were first-degree relatives (FDR) of patients with T1DM. The GADA and IA-2A were measured by radio-binding assays, which utilize 35S-labeled GAD65 and IA-2. IAA was measured by a microtiter plate assay using 125I-labeled insulin. Twenty-six of those with T1DM (65%) and 5 of the FDRs (10%) had at least 1 positive test on the single serum assays. The FP combi-assay for GADA and IA-2A had 97.8% concordance rate when compared with serum single assays for GADA and IA-2A. The concordance rate for individual assays were 96.7% for GADA, and 100% for both IA-2A and IAA There was significant correlation of the antibody levels between FP and serum specimen for all 3 antibodies. We conclude that antibody screening performed using dried capillary blood spots collected on a FP correlates well with serum assays, and provides an easy alternative for population screening.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autoantibodies* / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diagnosis*
  • Dried Blood Spot Testing / methods*
  • Female
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Antibodies* / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult


  • Autoantibodies
  • ICA512 autoantibody
  • Insulin Antibodies
  • islet cell antibody
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase