Detection and identification of platelet antibodies using a sensitive multiplex assay system-platelet antibody bead array

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Tests for platelet-specific antibodies are important in the diagnosis of immune platelet disorders. Monoclonal antibody glycoprotein capture assays have been the gold standards in platelet antibody detection for almost 30 years. However, such assays are complex and cumbersome to perform, which limits their routine use. We report the performance of a newly developed, easy to perform platelet antibody bead array (PABA) for the detection of platelet-specific antibodies.


PABA is the equivalent of the monoclonal antigen capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (MACE) on a bead and instead with fluorescent detection of immunoglobulin (Ig)G platelet antibodies by Luminex. Antibodies against platelet glycoproteins (GP) GPIIb/IIIa, GPIb/IX, GPIa/IIa, GPIV, and class I human leukocyte antigen (HLA) could be detected in a patient's serum simultaneously in a single well of a microplate. Results from 80 patient samples and 20 normal donor samples were compared using PABA, MACE, and a commercial ELISA kit.


PABA detected all antibodies, with specificity for human platelet antigens (HPAs) HPA-1a, HPA-1b, HPA-2a, HPA-2b, HPA-3a, HPA-3b, HPA-4a, HPA-4b, HPA-5a, HPA-5b, HPA-15b, and HLA. Overall, compared with MACE, the sensitivity and specificity of PABA were 99% and 97%, respectively, and both were significantly better than those of the commercial ELISA. PABA had greater analytic sensitivity than MACE for HPA-1a, HPA-3a, and HPA-5b antibodies. In addition, PABA detected HPA-5b and HPA-3b antibodies that were missed by MACE. The overall false-positive rate of PABA compared with MACE was 2.7%.


The PABA is a rapid, highly sensitive and specific, multiplex bead-based assay for detecting human platelet antibodies. Such a simple yet high-throughput platform will facilitate practical, routine testing for the identification of platelet-specific antibodies.

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