IgA anti-endomysial antibodies on human umbilical cord tissue for celiac disease screening. Save both money and monkeys

Dig Dis Sci. 1995 Sep;40(9):1902-5. doi: 10.1007/BF02208653.


Since celiac disease screening by traditional IgA anti-endomysial antibody test is limited by high costs of monkey esophagus commercial kits as well as by rising ethical problems related to the endangered species, the identification of an inexpensive and commonly available substrate for this antibody determination is urgently required. To achieve this goal, we compared the prevalence of IgA anti-endomysial antibodies detected on monkey esophagus with that on human umbilical cord. Fifty-seven (95%) of 60 untreated adult celiacs were positive for these antibodies on monkey esophagus as well as on human umbilical cord. IgA anti-endomysial antibodies, detected on both tissues, were negative in all 200 disease and healthy controls tested, displaying a 100% specificity for gluten-sensitive enteropathy. These data suggest that human umbilical cord can replace monkey esophagus for IgA anti-endomysial antibodies test. Human umbilical cord allows unlimited testing for celiac disease screening on wide series of high-risk subjects, permitting identification of greater numbers of asymptomatic celiac patients with a remarkable saving of money and bypassing the ethical problems related to killing monkeys.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis*
  • Esophagus / immunology
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Haplorhini
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth / immunology*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / immunology
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Umbilical Cord / immunology


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic