High-throughput multiplexed autoantibody detection to screen type 1 diabetes and multiple autoimmune diseases simultaneously

EBioMedicine. 2019 Sep;47:365-372. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.08.036. Epub 2019 Aug 22.


Background: Islet autoantibodies (IAbs) are the most reliable biomarkers to assess risk of progression to clinical type 1 diabetes (T1D). There are four major biochemically defined IAbs currently used in clinical trials that are equally important for disease prediction. The current screening methods use a radio-binding assay (RBA) for single IAb measurement, which are laborious and inefficient for large-scale screening. More importantly, up to 40% of patients with T1D have other autoimmune conditions that can be identified through relevant autoantibody testing. Thus, there is a need to screen for T1D and other autoimmune diseases simultaneously.

Methods: Based on our well-established electrochemiluminescence (ECL) assay platform, we developed a multiplexed ECL assay that combines 7 individual autoantibody assays together in one single well to simultaneously screen T1D, and three other autoimmune diseases including celiac disease, autoimmune thyroid disease and autoimmune poly-glandular syndrome-1 (APS-1). The 7-Plex ECL assay was extensively validated against single antibody measurements including a standard RBA and single ECL assay.

Findings: The 7-Plex ECL assay was well correlated to each single ECL autoantibody assay and each RBA.

Interpretation: The multiplexed ECL assay provides high sensitivity and disease specificity, along with high throughput and a low cost for large-scale screenings of T1D and other relevant autoimmune diseases in the general population. FUND: JDRF grants 2-SRA-2015-51-Q-R, 2-SRA-2018-533-S-B, NIH grants DK32083 and DK32493. NSFC grants 81770777.

Keywords: Autoantibodies; Autoimmune diseases; Biomarker; Diabetes; Multiplex assay.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Female
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays* / methods
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays* / standards
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult


  • Autoantibodies