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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 284740, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/284740
Review Article

New Platform Technology for Comprehensive Serological Diagnostics of Autoimmune Diseases

1Institute of Molecular and Clinical Immunology, Otto-von-Guericke University, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany
2Faculty of Natural Sciences, Lausitz University of Applied Sciences, 01968 Senftenberg, Germany
3R/D, Medipan GmbH, 15827 Dahlewitz/Berlin, Germany
4Institute of Clinical Immunology, Medical Faculty, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
5Institute of Immunology, Technical University, 01307 Dresden, Germany
6Division of Transplantation Immunology and Mucosal Biology, King's College London School of Medicine, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill Campus, Bessemer Road, London SE5 9RJ, UK

Received 22 September 2012; Accepted 16 November 2012

Academic Editor: Pietro Invernizzi

Copyright © 2012 Annika Willitzki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Antibody assessment is an essential part in the serological diagnosis of autoimmune diseases. However, different diagnostic strategies have been proposed for the work up of sera in particular from patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease (SARD). In general, screening for SARD-associated antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) is followed by confirmatory testing covering different assay techniques. Due to lacking automation, standardization, modern data management, and human bias in IIF screening, this two-stage approach has recently been challenged by multiplex techniques particularly in laboratories with high workload. However, detection of antinuclear antibodies by IIF is still recommended to be the gold standard method for antibody screening in sera from patients with suspected SARD. To address the limitations of IIF and to meet the demand for cost-efficient autoantibody screening, automated IIF methods employing novel pattern recognition algorithms for image analysis have been introduced recently. In this respect, the AKLIDES technology has been the first commercially available platform for automated interpretation of cell-based IIF testing and provides multiplexing by addressable microbead immunoassays for confirmatory testing. This paper gives an overview of recently published studies demonstrating the advantages of this new technology for SARD serology.