The value of indirect immunofluorescence and solid phase techniques for ANCA detection. A report on the first phase of an international cooperative study on the standardization of ANCA assays. EEC/BCR Group for ANCA Assay Standardization

J Immunol Methods. 1993 Feb 26;159(1-2):1-16. doi: 10.1016/0022-1759(93)90136-u.


This study describes the results of phase I of an international effort to develop and standardize assays for the detection of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA). 12 sera, four of which were selected for their potential to cause problems in the detection of various ANCA specificities, were analyzed in the standard indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) test and in ELISAs for ANCA routinely performed in the seven participating laboratories. The IIF methodology differed with respect to the dilution of the serum being screened and the concentration of the conjugate used. Results from sera with high ANCA titers were similar, although the quantitative values could not be compared. In sera containing rheumatoid factor and anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA), ANCA-unrelated staining patterns were observed. Six antigen preparations were used in ELISA for the detection of cANCA. In ELISA with purified proteinase-3 all three cANCA sera were positive, but not anti-myeloperoxidase (MPO) or anti-lactoferrin (LF) positive sera. The other assays were less sensitive or gave inconsistent results. Various preparations of purified MPO and LF used in ELISA were readily recognized by anti-MPO and anti-LF positive sera. From this study it can be concluded that the IIF test, although performed with different methods, shows comparable results using strongly positive sera. In general solid phase assays for cANCA detection are not well standardized and need improvement although the purified proteinase-3 ELISA is possibly an exception. MPO and LF can be used in ELISA procedures for the detection of pANCA-related antibodies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / standards*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / standards*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation


  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic
  • Autoantibodies