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1.  Specificity of the Antibody Response to the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide and Conjugate Vaccines in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Adults 
Nonspecific antibodies, which are thought to be nonprotective, have been shown to contribute a substantial proportion of the measured concentration in the standardized immunoglobulin G (IgG) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for pneumococcal polysaccharide capsular antibodies. The presence of such antibodies in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons has not been evaluated. The amount of nonspecific antibodies is proportional to the reduction in IgG antibody concentration that occurs with serum absorption with the heterologous polysaccharide 22F. We measured the amount of nonspecific antibodies before and after vaccination with the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV; n = 33) or the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV; n = 34) in HIV-infected adults with CD4 counts of ≥200 cells/mm3. Blood was drawn before and 2 months after vaccination. For prevaccination sera, we found a substantial amount of nonspecific antibodies for serotypes 4, 6B, 9V, and 23F (23 to 47% of measured IgG concentration), but not for serotype 14. There tended to be proportionately less nonspecific antibodies in postvaccine sera than prevaccine sera for PCV, but not for PPV. Subjects with a low HIV viral load (≤400 copies/ml) had proportionately more nonspecific antibodies than those with higher viral load before and after both vaccines. After 22F absorption, the geometric mean concentrations of antibodies were significantly higher post-PCV than post-PPV for the high viral load group for all five serotypes, but for no serotypes in the low viral load group. These findings confirm that absorption with a heterologous pneumococcal polysaccharide (e.g., 22F) is necessary to remove nonspecific antibodies in a standardized IgG ELISA for pneumococcal capsular antibodies in HIV-infected adults.
PMCID: PMC321324  PMID: 14715560
2.  Specific, Sensitive, and Quantitative Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay for Human Immunoglobulin G Antibodies to Anthrax Toxin Protective Antigen 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2002;8(10):1103-1110.
The bioterrorism-associated human anthrax epidemic in the fall of 2001 highlighted the need for a sensitive, reproducible, and specific laboratory test for the confirmatory diagnosis of human anthrax. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed, optimized, and rapidly qualified an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) in human serum. The qualified ELISA had a minimum detection limit of 0.06 µg/mL, a reliable lower limit of detection of 0.09 µg/mL, and a lower limit of quantification in undiluted serum specimens of 3.0 µg/mL anti-PA IgG. The diagnostic sensitivity of the assay was 97.8%, and the diagnostic specificity was 94.2%. A competitive inhibition anti-PA IgG ELISA was also developed to enhance diagnostic specificity to 100%. The anti-PA ELISAs proved valuable for the confirmation of cases of cutaneous and inhalational anthrax and evaluation of patients in whom the diagnosis of anthrax was being considered.
PMCID: PMC2730307  PMID: 12396924
Bacillus anthracis; anthrax; antibody; assay; toxin; bioterrorism; ELISA; serology
3.  Assignment of Additional Anticapsular Antibody Concentrations to the Neisseria meningitidis Group A, C, Y, and W-135 Meningococcal Standard Reference Serum CDC1992 
We assigned additional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay antibody concentrations (immunoglobulin G [IgG], IgM, and IgA, and total) to the Neisseria meningitidis standard reference serum CDC1992 for groups Y and W-135 to 12 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quality control sera. These assignments will supplement previous assignments and will aid in the evaluation of present and developing vaccines.
PMCID: PMC120003  PMID: 11986287
4.  An Analytical Model Applied to a Multicenter Pneumococcal Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Study 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2000;38(6):2043-2050.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines will eventually be licensed after favorable results from phase III efficacy trials. After licensure of a conjugate vaccine for invasive pneumococcal disease in infants, new conjugate vaccines will likely be licensed primarily on the basis of immunogenicity data rather than clinical efficacy. Analytical methods must therefore be developed, evaluated, and validated to compare immunogenicity results accurately within and between laboratories for different vaccines. At present no analytical technique is uniformly accepted and used in vaccine evaluation studies to determine the acceptable level of agreement between a laboratory result and the assigned value for a given serum sample. This multicenter study describes the magnitude of agreement among 12 laboratories quantifying an identical series of 48 pneumococcal serum specimens from 24 individuals (quality-control sera) by a consensus immunoglobulin G (IgG) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) developed for this study. After provisional or trial antibody concentrations were assigned to the quality-control serum samples for this study, four methods for comparison of a series of laboratory-determined values with the assigned concentrations were evaluated. The percent error between assigned values and laboratory-determined concentrations proved to be the most informative of the four methods. We present guidelines that a laboratory may follow to analyze a series of quality-control sera to determine if it can reproduce the assigned antibody concentrations within an acceptable level of tolerance. While this study focused on a pneumococcal IgG ELISA, the methods that we describe are easily generalizable to other immunological assays.
PMCID: PMC86724  PMID: 10834951
5.  Rapid Identification of Candida Species with Species-Specific DNA Probes 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1998;36(11):3260-3265.
Rapid identification of Candida species has become more important because of an increase in infections caused by species other than Candida albicans, including species innately resistant to azole antifungal drugs. We previously developed a PCR assay with an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) format to detect amplicons from the five most common Candida species by using universal fungal primers and species-specific probes directed to the ITS2 region of the gene for rRNA. We designed probes to detect seven additional Candida species (C. guilliermondii, C. kefyr, C. lambica, C. lusitaniae, C. pelliculosa, C. rugosa, and C. zeylanoides) included in the API 20C sugar assimilation panel, five probes for species not identified by API 20C (C. haemulonii, C. norvegica, C. norvegensis, C. utilis, and C. viswanathii), and a probe for the newly described species C. dubliniensis, creating a panel of 18 Candida species probes. The PCR-EIA correctly identified multiple strains of each species tested, including five identified as C. albicans by the currently available API 20C database but determined to be C. dubliniensis by genotypic and nonroutine phenotypic characteristics. Species identification time was reduced from a mean of 3.5 days by conventional identification methods to 7 h by the PCR-EIA. This method is simple, rapid, and feasible for identifying Candida species in clinical laboratories that utilize molecular identification techniques and provides a novel method to differentiate the new species, C. dubliniensis, from C. albicans.
PMCID: PMC105312  PMID: 9774576

Results 1-5 (5)