Epstein-barr virus antibodies in whole blood spots: A minimally invasive method for assessing an aspect of cell-mediated immunity

Thomas W. McDade, Joy F. Stallings, Adrian Angold, E. Jane Costello, Mary Burleson, John T. Cacioppo, Ronald Glaser, Carol M. Worthman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

105 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Study 1: Introduce and validate a method for measuring EBV p18-VCA antibodies in whole blood spots to provide a minimally invasive marker of cell-mediated immune function. Study 2: Apply this method to a large community-based study of psychopathology in children and adolescents. Methods: The EBV antibody method was evaluated through analysis of precision, reliability, stability, and comparisons with plasma and indirect immunofluorescence methods. The effects of life events on p18-VCA antibody level were considered in a subsample of 9, 11, and 13 year-old children participating in the Great Smoky Mountains Study in North Carolina. The subsample was stratified by age, sex, and degree of overall life strain. Results: Dried blood spots provided a convenient, sensitive, precise, and reliable method for measuring EBV p18-VCA antibody titer. Life events were positively associated with p18-VCA antibodies in girls but not in boys. Conclusions: The validity of the blood spot EBV p18-VCA antibody assay, as well as the ease of sample collection, storage, and transportation, may provide an opportunity for psychoneuroimmunology to explore a wider range of stress models in larger, community-based studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-568
Number of pages9
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

Keywords

  • Cell-mediated immunity
  • Life events
  • Methods
  • Psychoneuroimmunology
  • Sex difference
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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