We have compared ELISA and IFA for the quantitation of IgG and IgM antitoxoplasma antibodies on whole sera and purified IgM fractions. In all the sera examined from adult patients the good correspondence of the two tests is expressed by a correlation coefficient of 0.77 (p = 0.001). However, we have observed that both IgM-ELISA and IgM-IFA performed on whole serum may lead either to false positive results due to presence of rheumatoid factors or to false negative results due to the competition with high level of IgG antibodies. The use of the simplified gel filtration method for separation of IgM fraction allowed the detection of IgM in 40 out of 75 adults patients by IgM IFA and in 39 by the same tests resulted negative if performed on whole serum. The separation of IgM fractions seems a necessary step for detecting IgM antibodies by IgM IFA in 12 of 14 newborns sera with clinical and serological evidence of congenital toxoplasmosis. The conventional IgM ELISA was constantly negative when performed on both whole sera or pure IgM IFA positive fractions of the same newborns.
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