Researchers have developed a novel diagnostic method for the rapid on-site diagnosis of coeliac disease (CD). The new assay can be completed on-site within minutes without requiring laboratory testing.
A study, published in PLOS One, describes how the protein L-based time-resolved Förster resonance energy transfer assay (LFRET) was developed for the detection of anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) IgA-class antibodies. This was tested in 74 patients with CD and 70 healthy controls with HLA-associated genetic risk for CD, and the results compared with well-established enzyme immunoassays and an existing commercial point-of-care test.
Sensitivity and specificity of the tTG-LFRET POC assay in detecting biopsy-proven CD were 87.8 per cent and 94.3 per cent, respectively, in line with those of the reference POC test (pooled sensitivity and specificity of 90.5% and 94.8%, respectively). The sensitivity and specificity of enzyme immunoassays were 95.9 per cent and 91.9 per cent.
"The prevailing method involves transporting the sample to a central laboratory and a multi-step procedure taking hours. With the new method, results can be achieved in less than half an hour by simply combining the sample and a reagent mix, waiting for a while and reading the result," said author Dr Juuso Rusanen.