Original Articles

Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 38, Issue 11, pp 2034-2037

Serum IgA anti-gliadin antibodies in an adult population sample

High prevalence without celiac disease
  • Oivi UiboAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, University of TartuInstitute of General and Molecular Pathology, University of TartuLabmaster Ltd.Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Tampere
  • , R. UiboAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, University of TartuInstitute of General and Molecular Pathology, University of TartuLabmaster Ltd.Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Tampere
  • , V. KleimolaAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, University of TartuInstitute of General and Molecular Pathology, University of TartuLabmaster Ltd.Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Tampere
  • , T. JõgiAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, University of TartuInstitute of General and Molecular Pathology, University of TartuLabmaster Ltd.Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Tampere
  • , M. MäkiAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, University of TartuInstitute of General and Molecular Pathology, University of TartuLabmaster Ltd.Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Tampere

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Abstract

IgA-class anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) and IgA-, IgG-, IgM-class anti-reticulin antibodies (ARA) were determined in 1461 persons, representing 84% of a population from the village of Karksi-Nuia. AGA were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and ARA by indirect immunofluorescence. Fifty-two (3.5%) persons had IgA-class AGA, of whom 48 and an additional three of four persons with diarrhea were biopsied. All biopsies showed normal small intestinal mucosal architecture. All 1461 persons were negative for ARA. Our results demonstrate that AGA are frequently detected in an adult Estonian population and positivity increases with age in persons with normal small intestinal mucosa. Positivity for AGA does not predict silent undetected celiac disease but rather represents a normal response to dietary antigens in the elderly. Inability to detect ARA suggests that celiac disease does not exist in this population. As none of the AGA-positive but ARA-negative biopsied persons had celiac disease, ARA might be a more specific serologic marker for celiac disease than AGA.

Key Words

IgA anti-gliadin antibodies screening population age celiac disease