IgA antiendomysium antibodies in human umbilical cord sections as a screening test in relatives of patients with celiac disease

M. Bagnasco, P. Montagna, A. De Alessandri, E. Castellano, G. P. Pesce, R. Gatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We performed the serum IgA antiendomysium antibody (EmA) assay by indirect immunofluorescence on human umbilical cord sections in 86 subjects with celiac disease, in 187 first-degree relatives of such patients, and in a control group of 68 unrelated subjects, to investigate the suitability of the method in the screening of populations at risk of gluten sensitivity. Conventional EmA assay using monkey esophagus sections was performed in parallel experiments. The results obtained showed a perfpect correlation between the two methods. All the celiac patients and none of the controls were positive for EmA. EmA positivity was also observed in 11 apparently healthy relatives: intestinal biopsy performed in five of them invariably showed villous atrophy and increase of mucosal lymphocytes. Taking into account the low cost of EmA assay on human umbilical cord, especially when compared to monkey esophagus sections, the method is probably suitable and effective in identifying latent, asymptomatic gluten sensitivity in at-risk populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1021
Number of pages5
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Volume52
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Keywords

  • Antiendomysium antibodies
  • Antigliadin antibodies
  • Celiac disease
  • Gluten sensitivity
  • Villous atrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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