Diagnostic significance of immunoglobulin M antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii detected after separation of immunoglobulin M from immunoglobulin G antibodies

G. A. Filice, A. S. Yeager, J. S. Remington

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Abstract

Failure to demonstrate immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence (IgM-IFA) in sera from some patients with acute acquired toxoplasmosis has recently been attributed to an inhibitory effect of high titers of IgG antibodies in these sera (Pyndiah et al., J. Clin. Microbiol. 9: 170-174, 1979). To confirm these findings and define their importance for diagnosis, we used gel filtration to separate IgM from IgG antibodies in a series of sera that were negative in the IgM-IFA test. A total of 68 sera were from patients with acquired toxoplasmosis, 13 were from uninfected adults, 13 were from infants with congenital toxoplasmosis, and 7 were from uninfected neonates. Of the 68 sera from patients with acquired toxoplasmosis, IgM preparations (from the separated sera) were positive in the IgM-IFA test in 36 (53%). There was a significant (P = 0.00003) association between high titers of IgM-IFA antibodies in the IgM preparations (corrected for dilution of IgM antibodies by the gel filtration procedure) and recent acquisition of infection. IgM antibodies were also detected in 5 (38%) of the IgM preparations of 13 sera from congenitally infected infants but not in any of the IgM preparations of sera from uninfected neonates. IgG antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii were shown to interfere with demonstration of IgM antibodies in the IgM-IFA test. Treatment of sera with protein A resulted in greater dilution of IgM antibodies and less efficient separation of IgM from IgG antibodies than did separation of sera by gel filtration. Treatment of sera with protein A did not result in increased detection of IgM antibodies to T. gondii. Testing of IgM preparations (obtained by gel filtration) resulted in a significant increase in sensitivity of the IgM-IFA test for the diagnosis of recently acquired and congenital toxoplasmosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-342
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1980

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