False biochemical diagnosis of hyperthyroidism in streptavidin-biotin-based immunoassays: the problem of biotin intake and related interferences

Clin Chem Lab Med. 2017 May 1;55(6):780-788. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2016-0606.


Immunoassays are now commonly used for hormone measurement, in high throughput analytical platforms. Immunoassays are generally robust to interference. However, endogenous analytical error may occur in some patients; this may be encountered in biotin supplementation or in the presence of anti-streptavidin antibody, in immunoassays involving streptavidin-biotin interaction. In these cases, the interference may induce both false positive and false negative results, and simulate a seemingly coherent hormonal profile. It is to be feared that this type of errors will be more frequently observed. This review underlines the importance of keeping close interactions between biologists and clinicians to be able to correlate the hormonal assay results with the clinical picture.

Keywords: anti-streptavidin antibody; biotin; immunoassay; interference.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biotin* / metabolism
  • Biotin* / pharmacology
  • Biotin* / therapeutic use
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Humans
  • Hyperthyroidism / diagnosis*
  • Hyperthyroidism / immunology
  • Hyperthyroidism / metabolism
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Streptavidin* / immunology
  • Streptavidin* / metabolism


  • Biotin
  • Streptavidin