Electrochemiluminescence assays for insulin and glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies improve prediction of type 1 diabetes risk

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2015 Feb;17(2):119-27. doi: 10.1089/dia.2014.0186. Epub 2015 Jan 6.


We recently developed new electrochemiluminescence (ECL) insulin autoantibody (IAA) and glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 autoantibody (GADA) assays that discriminate high-affinity, high-risk diabetes-specific autoantibodies from low-affinity, low-risk islet autoantibodies (iAbs) detected by radioassay (RAD). Here, we report a further validation of the ECL-IAA and -GADA assays in 3,484 TrialNet study participants. The ECL assay and RAD were congruent in those with prediabetes and in subjects with multiple autoantibodies, but only 24% (P<0.0001) of single RAD-IAA-positive and 46% (P<0.0001) of single RAD-GADA-positive were confirmed by the ECL-IAA and -GADA assays, respectively. During a follow-up (mean, 2.4 years), 51% of RAD-IAA-positive and 63% of RAD-GADA-positive subjects not confirmed by ECL became iAb negative, compared with only 17% of RAD-IAA-positive (P<0.0001) and 15% of RAD-GADA-positive (P<0.0001) subjects confirmed by ECL assays. Among subjects with multiple iAbs, diabetes-free survival was significantly shorter if IAA or GADA was positive by ECL and negative by RAD than if IAA or GADA was negative by ECL and positive by RAD (P<0.019 and P<0.0001, respectively). Both positive and negative predictive values in terms of progression to type 1 diabetes mellitus were superior for ECL-IAA and ECL-GADA, compared with RADs. The prevalence of the high-risk human leukocyte antigen-DR3/4, DQB1*0302 genotype was significantly higher in subjects with RAD-IAA or RAD-GADA confirmed by ECL. In conclusion, both ECL-IAA and -GADA are more disease-specific and better able to predict the risk of progression to type 1 diabetes mellitus than the current standard RADs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / immunology*
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin Antibodies / metabolism*
  • Luminescence*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Prediabetic State / diagnosis
  • Prediabetic State / immunology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Autoantibodies
  • Insulin Antibodies
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase

Grant support