Immunology of DNA. III. Crithidia luciliae, a simple substrate for the determination of anti-dsDNA with the immunofluorescence technique

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1975 Jun 30;254:505-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1975.tb29197.x.


C. luciliae are hemoflagellates nonpathogenic for man and easy to culture. They have a giant mitochondrion, in which the mitochondrial DNA is concentrated in a single large network, the kinetoplast. When used as a substrate for the indirect immunofluorescence technique, studying sera from patients with SLE, we could demonstrate a very good correlation between this test and the Farr assay for the demonstration of antibodies to double-stranded DNA. Although the sensitivity of both techniques is on the same order of magnitude, the IF technique has the following advantages over the Farr assay. It is easy to perform in laboratories equipped for autoimmune serology. It possesses an intrinsic check on the immunoglobulin character of the DNA-binding activity. It allows one to determine the Ig classes and subclasses of antibodies to DNA. It permits study of complement fixation to antibodies without interference of Clq fixation to DNA or anticomplementarity of the serum. There is an absence of interference with antibodies to single-stranded DNA.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis*
  • Bacteriophages / immunology
  • Centrifugation, Density Gradient
  • Complement Fixation Tests
  • DNA, Mitochondrial*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Sucrose
  • Trypanosoma / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Sucrose