A modified enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for measurement of antibody responses to meningococcal C polysaccharide that correlate with bactericidal responses

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 1998 Jul;5(4):479-85.


The standardized enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for measurement of serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody responses to meningococcal C polysaccharide has been modified to employ assay conditions that ensure specificity and favor detection primarily of high-avidity antibodies. The modified and standard assays were used to measure IgG antibody concentrations in sera of toddlers vaccinated with meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine or a meningococcal C conjugate vaccine. The results were compared to the respective complement-mediated bactericidal antibody titers. In sera obtained after one or two doses of vaccine, the correlation coefficients, r, for the results of the standard assay and bactericidal antibody titers were 0.45 and 0.29, compared to 0.85 and 0.87, respectively, for the modified assay. With the standard assay, there were no significant differences between the geometric mean antibody responses of the two vaccine groups. In contrast, with the modified assay, 5- to 20-fold higher postvaccination antibody concentrations were measured in the conjugate than in the polysaccharide group. Importantly, the results of the modified assay, but not the standard ELISA, paralleled the respective geometric mean bactericidal antibody titers. Thus, by employing conditions that favor detection of higher-avidity IgG antibody, the modified ELISA provides results that correlate closely with measurements of antibody functional activity that are thought to be important in protection against meningococcal disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Antigens, Bacterial / administration & dosage
  • Bacterial Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Blood Bactericidal Activity*
  • Buffers
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / standards
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Meningococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Meningococcal Vaccines
  • Neisseria meningitidis / immunology*
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / administration & dosage
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Buffers
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Meningococcal Vaccines
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • meningococcal group C polysaccharide