, Volume 166, Issue 1-4, pp 177-186

Detection of antibodies to varicella zoster virus by radioimmunoassay and enzyme immunoassay techniques

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An enzyme assay for the detection of antibodies to varicella-zoster membrane antigen (IPAMA) and a solid phase radioimmunoassay (RIA) which utilizes infected cell lysates as antigen are described. The results have been compared with those obtained by the indirect fluorescent antibody to membrane antigen (IFAMA) technique.

It was found that IPAMA was equal in sensitivity to IFAMA. No cross-reactivity was found with other herpes group viruses. The IPAMA appears to give objective results, is easily and rapidly performed, and is recommended as a routine test for serological diagnosis of varicella-zoster infection.

The RIA method is about 100 times more sensitive than IPAMA and IFAMA. The RIA is specific and has the potential of determining lower levels of antibody than other serological methods currently in use.