Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.
The detection of anti-hepatitis A virus (HAV) antibody levels by diagnostic kits in the convalescent period of disease generally use immunoglobulin G (IgG), which is expensive. An alternative to IgG is immunoglobulin Y (IgY), an immunoglobulin antibody encountered in birds and reptiles. The aim of this study was to develop a competitive immunoenzymatic assay to measure total anti-HAV antibody levels using anti-HAV IgY as the capture and conjugated immunoglobulins. For this purpose, anti-HAV IgY was conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and the optimal dilution of HRP-conjugated antibodies was evaluated to establish the competitive immuneenzymatic assay. The results obtained from our "in-house" assay were plotted on a receiver operator curve, which showed a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity of 98.8%, demonstrating that a competitive anti-HAV IgY immunoenzymatic assay developed "in house" could be used as an alternative to commercial assays that utilise IgG.