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[Detection of rubella antibodies in blood samples collected on filter paper].

  • Cuffini, C G
  • Córdoba, P
  • Grutadauria, S L
  • Zapata, M T
Published Article
Revista Argentina de microbiología
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1997
PMID: 9424629


Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) could be prevented if young women knew their immune status before pregnancy, contributing in this way to decrease the birth morbidity rate due to CRS among the children. Our objective was to optimize the detection of rubella virus-antibodies by HAI, using an easier and safer method to collect samples of big populations. One hundred specimens, obtained from patients in a pediatric hospital and pregnant women in an institute of Virology were used for this work. Venous blood was drawn and collected in a test tube, and few drops were spotted onto filter paper circles. These samples were kept in envelopes and stored at room temperature until analysis. Seventy two percent of dried blood samples had titers identical to those of the corresponding serum samples, and 28% dried blood samples showed 1 dilution of difference. Storage of dried blood at room temperature for 30 days did not affect the HAI titers. Up to 60 days post attainment, 59% dried blood samples had identical titers to those of the corresponding serum samples, and 41% dried blood samples showed one dilution of difference. At 100 days of storage 51% dried blood samples had identical titers to those of the corresponding serum samples, 38% dried blood samples showed 1 dilution of difference and 11% and more than 1 dilution of difference. In conclusion, dried blood on filter paper is an easier method to transport and store blood samples for the determination of rubella virus immunity, for as long as 30 days. It could be used for large-scale epidemiological studies. The sensitivity and specificity of HAI performed on dried blood samples was 100%. Only 0.25 ml of whole blood is needed and the samples are stable at room temperature, without air or sterile conditioning. The proposed methodology is a practical approach to collect, transport and store blood samples. Moreover the blood dried on paper spots can be placed in a plastic bag and mailed to a reference laboratory. This is an appropriate alternative method for serological screenings in developing countries.

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