MUMPS VIRUS-SPECIFIC ANTIBODY TITERS FROM PRE-VACCINE ERA SERA: COMPARISON OF THE PLAQUE REDUCTION NEUTRALIZATION ASSAY AND ENZYME IMMUNOASSAYS
J Clin Microbiol 43:4847-4851, 2005
Mauldin J, Carbone K, Hsu H, Yolken R, Rubin S
Mumps virus-neutralizing antibodies are believed to be the most predictable surrogate marker of protective immunity. However, assays used to detect neutralizing antibodies, such as the plaque reduction neutralization (PRN) assay, are labor- and time-intensive and consequently are often supplanted by the more rapid and inexpensive enzyme immunoassay (EIA) technique. For virus infections for which international antibody standards exist and are bridged to clinical studies of protection (e.g. measles and rubella), the EIA has been successfully used to determine immune surrogate endpoints, yet no such international reference exists for mumps serology. Since both virus-neutralizing and nonneutralizing antibodies are measured in the EIA, in the absence of a mumps serological standard, the EIA may be prone to yielding false-positive results when utilized for assessing surrogate markers of protective immunity. Moveover, since mumps virus-specific antibody titers are generally low in comparison to antibody levels induced by other viruses and EIP procedures often employ relatively high serum dilution factors, the EIA may be prone to yielding false-negative results. To examine these issues, a PRN assay and two commercially available EIA kits were used to evaluate wild-type mumps virus serological responses in human serum samples from the pre-mumps vaccine era. Our results indicate that the PRN assay is a more sensitive and specific method of measuring serological responses to wild-type mumps virus.