Comparison of direct rapid tests for the detection of adenovirus antigen in routine conjunctival specimens

Ophthalmology. 1989 Jul;96(7):1106-9. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(89)32793-x.


Two direct rapid tests to detect adenovirus antigen, enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and immunofiltration (IF) were compared with regard to sensitivity, specificity, ease of interpretation, and technical complexity against 75 adenovirus culture-positive and 35 adenovirus culture-negative conjunctival swab specimens. Enzyme immunoassay and IF were equally sensitive (P = 0.5), with sensitivities of 80.6 and 79.0%, respectively, when swab specimens were collected from patients within 7 days of the onset of clinical symptoms of adenovirus infection. After 7 days of clinical onset, IF (46.2%) was more sensitive (P less than 0.01) than EIA (0.0%), and was able to detect residual antigen in three culture-negative specimens. Enzyme immunoassay and IF were equally specific (100%). Both tests were easy to interpret, but IF was more technically complex and is not yet commercially packaged. Enzyme immunoassay could benefit either an office practice or a central laboratory, whereas IF is better suited for the latter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae Infections / diagnosis*
  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / diagnosis*
  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / immunology
  • Adenoviruses, Human / immunology*
  • Adenoviruses, Human / isolation & purification
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Conjunctivitis, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Conjunctivitis, Viral / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Random Allocation
  • Time Factors


  • Antigens, Viral