Author(s): Turnbull PC, Broster MG, Carman JA, Manchee RJ, Melling J
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Abstract A competitive inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed to detect antibodies in serum to the protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF) components of anthrax toxin. Current human vaccination schedules with an acellular vaccine induce predictable and lasting antibody titers to PA and, when present in the vaccine, to LF. Live spore vaccine administered to guinea pigs in a single dose conferred significantly better protection than the human vaccines (P less than 0.001), although they elicited significantly lower (P less than 0.0005) anti-PA and anti-LF titers at time of challenge with virulent Bacillus anthracis. Substantial anti-PA and anti-LF titers may not, therefore, indicate solid protective immunity against anthrax infection. The ELISA system was also shown to be capable of detecting anti-PA and anti-LF antibodies in the sera of individuals with histories of clinical anthrax. The advantage of ELISA over the Ouchterlony gel diffusion test and indirect microhemagglutination assay are demonstrated. There was a highly significant degree of correlation between ELISA and the indirect microhemagglutination assay (P less than 0.0005); but ELISA was markedly superior in terms of reproducibility, reliability, specificity, and simplicity in performance and stability of the bound antigen.
This article was published in Infect Immun
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense