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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Multicenter evaluation of a new enzyme immunoassay for detection of Clostridium difficile enterotoxin A.

The Premier Clostridium difficile toxin A enzyme immunoassay ( PTA EIA) (Meridian Diagnostics, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio) for rapid diagnosis of antibiotic-associated colitis (AAC) was evaluated in a multicenter study. Stool samples from 421 patients suspected of having AAC were tested for toxin A by the PTA EIA and for toxin B by three tissue culture assays (TCA) employing WI-38 cells (New England Deaconess Hospital) in conventional tubes or foreskin fibroblasts (Children's Hospital) or Vero cells (Beth Israel Hospital) in microwells. The tubes and plates were examined at 24 and 48 h for cytotoxicity. Clinical criteria, repeat testing at another site, and culture of frozen stool samples for C. difficile were used to evaluate discrepant results. Of 504 samples, 66 were positive and 409 were negative by both tests. Eight samples had indeterminate PTA EIA results and were excluded from this analysis. Of 21 discrepancies, 9 were PTA EIA positive and TCA negative and 12 were PTA EIA negative TCA positive. Following resolution of the discrepancies, 11 of 12 PTA EIA-negative-TCA-positive and 5 of 9 PTA EIA-positive-TCA-negative samples were considered true positive for AAC. The sensitivity and specificity were, respectively, 86.6 and 99.0% for the PTA EIA and 93.9 and 99.8% for TCA. The predictive values of positive and negative tests were, respectively, 94.7 and 97.4% for the PTA EIA and 98.7 and 98.8% for TCA. We conclude that the PTA EIA is a rapid, simple EIA technique whose accuracy in detecting enterotoxin A approaches that of reference TCA methods for detection of cytotoxin B.[1]


  1. Multicenter evaluation of a new enzyme immunoassay for detection of Clostridium difficile enterotoxin A. De Girolami, P.C., Hanff, P.A., Eichelberger, K., Longhi, L., Teresa, H., Pratt, J., Cheng, A., Letourneau, J.M., Thorne, G.M. J. Clin. Microbiol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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