Combined use of complement and anti-immunoglobulin in an enhanced neutralization assay for antibodies to varicella-zoster virus

J Virol Methods. 1995 Jun;53(2-3):176-87. doi: 10.1016/0166-0934(95)00013-k.


An enhanced neutralization assay was developed to permit the sensitive, specific, and reproducible measurement of antibodies to varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Optimal neutralization was achieved using a combination of guinea pig complement (C') and rabbit anti-human IgG. This provided 625-, 160- and 13- to 64-fold increases in dilution endpoints of human post-zoster serum, varicella-zoster immune globulin and representative sera from recipients of live attenuated varicella vaccine, respectively, above those measured in the absence of C' and anti-IgG. The specificity of the assay was shown by the absorption of serum neutralization capacity with VZV-specific antigen and the lack of concordance between antibody titers to VZV with those to either herpes simplex virus type-2 or cytomegalovirus. The antibody status of recipients of live attenuated varicella vaccine was established from the amount of neutralizing activity produced at a single optimal serum dilution.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Complement System Proteins*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunoglobulins / blood
  • Immunoglobulins / immunology
  • Infant
  • Neutralization Tests*
  • Rabbits
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Viral Vaccines


  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Viral Vaccines
  • Complement System Proteins