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||Development and application of a GuHCl-modified ELISA to measure the avidity of anti-HPV L1 VLP antibodies in vaccinated individuals.
||Dauner JG, Pan Y, Hildesheim A, Kemp TJ, Porras C, Pinto LA
||Mol Cell Probes
||Antibody responses against infectious agents are an important component in the prevention of disease. The avidity of antibodies for their antigens relates to their functional efficiency, and is a fundamental aspect in the investigation of humoral responses. Modified ELISAs are used to estimate avidity through the use of chaotropic agents and the measurement of the degree to which they disrupt the interaction between antibody and antigen. The theory behind the assay is the higher the avidity of an interaction the less susceptible it is to the effects of the chaotropic agent. The goal of this study was to generate a modified ELISA where a complex, multimeric coating-antigen, human papillomavirus (HPV) virus-like particles (VLP), was used to measure the avidity of anti-HPV antibodies generated following vaccination with HPV VLPs. A series of chaotropic agents were evaluated in the assay for their effectiveness in measuring avidity. Guanidine hydrochloride (GuHCl) was selected as a chaotropic reagent with the ability to disrupt antibody and antigen interactions, while not affecting the integrity of the plate-bound VLP. Two methods of determining the avidity index were assessed and shown to be comparable. This assay was then successfully applied to measure the avidity of anti-HPV VLP serum antibodies in samples from an HPV L1 VLP vaccine clinical trial. Overall, the assay was highly reproducible and captured a wide range of antibody avidities. Therefore, a GuHCl-modified ELISA is an acceptable method that can be used to determine HPV-specific antibody avidity indices within a clinical trial setting.