Serodiagnosis of infectious mononucleosis with a bovine erythrocyte glycoprotein

M. A. Fletcher, N. G. Klimas, Z. A. Latif, K. E. Caldwell

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A glycoprotein from bovine erythrocyte membrane was evaluated in two immunoassays as a reagent for the serodiagnosis of infectious mononucleosis (IM). We previously reported that a partially purified preparation of this glycoprotein, when attached to the latex beads, agglutinated in the presence of IM heterophile antibody. In the present study, we used a highly purified form of the glycoprotein both as an agglutinating reagent, covalently bound to latex, and in a solid-phase sandwich-type radioimmunoassay (RIA) for IM antibody detection in a larger population of patients. We tested serum samples from college students with symptoms suggestive of IM with the latex reagent (143 samples) and with the RIA (245 samples). Correlation of these two tests, both with each other and with the classical differentially absorbed, agglutination tests for Paul-Bunnell antibody in IM sera, using fresh sheep or horse cells, was excellent (> 97% agreement). The new tests also corresponded in most cases with a rapid, unabsorbed preserved horse erythrocyte slide test. However, in this study of 245 samples, both apparent false-positive (5 samples) and apparent false-negative (3 samples) were observed with this slide test. In conclusion, we found that the bovine glycoprotein as a reagent can facilitate the diagnosis of IM, giving results comparable to those with erythrocyte agglutination tests on differentially absorbed sera. The advantages are ease and speed of performance (latex test), potential for automation (RIA test), stability and uniformity of the glycoprotein reagent (latex and RIA tests), and most importantly, the ability to use unabsorbed sera (latex and RIA tests).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-499
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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