Estimates of mumps seroprevalence may be influenced by antibody specificity and serologic method.
Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2014 Mar ;21(3):286-97. Epub 2013 Dec 26. PMID: 24371258
Donald R Latner
Neutralizing antibodies are assumed to be essential for protection against mumps virus infection, but their measurement is labor- and time-intensive. For this reason, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) are typically used to measure mumps-specific IgG levels. However, since there is poor correlation between mumps neutralization titers and ELISAs that measure the presence of mumps-specific IgG levels, ELISAs that better correlate with neutralization are needed. To address this issue, we measured mumps antibody levels by plaque reduction neutralization, by a commercial ELISA (whole-virus antigen), and by ELISAs specific for the mumps nucleoprotein and hemagglutinin. The results indicate that differences in the antibody response to the individual mumps proteins could partially explain the lack of correlation among various serologic tests. Furthermore, the data indicate that some seropositive individuals have low levels of neutralizing antibody. If neutralizing antibody is important for protection, this suggests that previous estimates of immunity based on whole-virus ELISAs may be overstated.