Quality control of multiplex antibody detection in samples from large-scale surveys: the example of malaria in Haiti

Sci Rep. 2020 Jan 24;10(1):1135. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-57876-0.


Measuring antimalarial antibodies can estimate transmission in a population. To compare outputs, standardized laboratory testing is required. Here we describe the in-country establishment and quality control (QC) of a multiplex bead assay (MBA) for three sero-surveys in Haiti. Total IgG data against 21 antigens were collected for 32,758 participants. Titration curves of hyperimmune sera were included on assay plates, assay signals underwent 5-parameter regression, and inspection of the median and interquartile range (IQR) for the y-inflection point was used to determine assay precision. The medians and IQRs were similar for Surveys 1 and 2 for most antigens, while the IQRs increased for some antigens in Survey 3. Levey-Jennings charts for selected antigens provided a pass/fail criterion for each assay plate and, of 387 assay plates, 13 (3.4%) were repeated. Individual samples failed if IgG binding to the generic glutathione-S-transferase protein was observed, with 659 (2.0%) samples failing. An additional 455 (1.4%) observations failed due to low bead numbers (<20/analyte). The final dataset included 609,438 anti-malaria IgG data points from 32,099 participants; 96.6% of all potential data points if no QC failures had occurred. The MBA can be deployed with high-throughput data collection and low inter-plate variability while ensuring data quality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Protozoan / blood*
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / immunology
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Datasets as Topic
  • Haiti / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunomagnetic Separation / instrumentation
  • Immunomagnetic Separation / methods*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / blood
  • Malaria, Falciparum / diagnosis*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / epidemiology
  • Malaria, Falciparum / immunology
  • Plasmodium falciparum / immunology*
  • Quality Control*
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Serologic Tests / methods*


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Recombinant Proteins