Background and aims An ANA and ENA testing algorithm was established at the immunology laboratory at Waitemata District Health Board (WDHB) in New Zealand. WDHB serves more than 500 000 people in central New Zealand. Due to the high demand for ANA testing, WDHB opted for an automated ANA EIA screening and Extractable Nuclear Antibodies (ENA) EIA reflex testing algorithm, with HEp-2 IFA as an option when there is a strong indication of false negative results.
Methods From January 2012 to April 2016, 8515 patient samples were tested with ANA Screening EIA kits, and 1624 samples were reflex tested with ENA EIA kits for detection of antibodies to SSA, SSB, Sm, Sm/RNP, Scl-70, Jo-1, dsDNA and centromere (Bio-Rad Laboratories, California, USA). The reflex testing is triggered when either the screening result was positive or requested by a clinician. ANA IFA tests were performed on request.
Results The general ANA screening positive rate was 18.5% (1585/8515) in the WDHB population. The positivity rate for each individual ENA is shown in Table 1. The overall positive rate for ENA testing was 54.8% (890/1624) indicating that the ANA screening has been effective in detecting the specific presence of ENAs.
Conclusions Using this ANA and ENA testing algorithm, WDHB was able to screen a large number of patient samples and quickly identify specific ENA all in one day, resulting in improved workflow and significant labour and cost savings.
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