Nonspecific reactions in the hemagglutination inhibition test for detection of rubella antibodies

D. B. Budzko, D. F. Jelinek, B. W. Wilcke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Approximately 7% of the sera tested to determine the presence of rubella-specific antibodies by the hemagglutination inhibition test demonstrated abnormal patterns of reactivity, rendering the test unreadable. Another 3% of sera were shown to have false-positive titers as high as 1:128. When these abnormally reacting and false-positive sera were heated at 56°C for 30 min after chemical treatment they always converted to negative, indicating the absence of specific rubella hemagglutination-inhibiting antibody. These results were confirmed by fractionation of the sera after sucrose gradient centrifugation. It was established that manifestation of these nonspecific results was dependent on the concentration of Ca2+ or Mn2+. The heat-labile inhibitor(s) responsible for abnormal and false-positive reactions was found not to be complement. This inhibitor(s) was detected in the light fractions of sera and when added to negative sera was capable of reproducing the abnormal patterns of reactivity. These results emphasize the necessity of heating sera for the rubella hemagglutination inhibition test after the chemical removal of nonspecific inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)818-823
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Nonspecific reactions in the hemagglutination inhibition test for detection of rubella antibodies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this