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

The avidity of specific IgM detected in primary rubella and reinfection.

An IgM capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for rubella-specific IgM was used to assess the avidity of specific IgM by comparing the results obtained with and without a mild protein denaturant in the washing fluid used after incubation of IgM with rubella haemagglutinating antigen. An avidity index (AI) was calculated with AIs less than 50% considered to indicate low avidity. Sera from recent primary rubella, rubella reinfection and from patients persistently reactive for specific IgM were tested. Urea and diethylamine (DEA) were compared as the protein denaturants. Twenty-six of 28 sera from cases of primary rubella gave an AI less than 50% with DEA, compared with 25 of 28 with urea. Seventeen of 20 sera from cases of reinfection gave an AI greater than 50% with DEA whereas only 14 of 20 had a similarly high avidity with urea. Eight of 10 sera from 4 cases of persistent specific IgM reactivity gave AIs greater than 50% with DEA, although this was reduced to 5 when urea was used. Thus a difference has been demonstrated between the avidity of specific IgM in primary infection from that demonstrated after a secondary antigenic challenge (reinfection). This may help in serologically distinguishing primary infection from reinfection.[1]


  1. The avidity of specific IgM detected in primary rubella and reinfection. Thomas, H.I., Morgan-Capner, P. Epidemiol. Infect. (1990) [Pubmed]
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