Table of Contents
International Journal of Bacteriology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 707463, 6 pages
Research Article

Detection of Q Fever Specific Antibodies Using Recombinant Antigen in ELISA with Peroxidase Based Signal Amplification

Viral and Rickettsial Diseases Department, Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA

Received 18 November 2013; Revised 4 February 2014; Accepted 6 February 2014; Published 12 March 2014

Academic Editor: Sam R. Telford

Copyright © 2014 Hua-Wei Chen 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.


Currently, the accepted method for Q fever serodiagnosis is indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay (IFA) using the whole cell antigen. In this study, we prepared the recombinant antigen of the 27-kDa outer membrane protein (Com1) which has been shown to be recognized by Q fever patient sera. The performance of recombinant Com1 was evaluated in ELISA by IFA confirmed serum samples. Due to the low titers of IgG and IgM in Q fever patients, the standard ELISA signals were further amplified by using biotinylated anti-human IgG or IgM plus streptavidin-HRP polymer. The modified ELISA can detect 88% (29 out of 33) of Q fever patient sera collected from Marines deployed to Iraq. Less than 5% (5 out of 156) of the sera from patients with other febrile diseases reacted with the Com1. These results suggest that the modified ELISA using Com1 may have the potential to improve the detection of Q fever specific antibodies.