The sensitivity of methods to detect antibodies to intrinsic factor was assessed. Five sera of known antibody content were tested in 31 laboratories and 30 sera from patients with pernicious anaemia were tested in one laboratory. Five non-commercial methods and two kits for type I antibodies and one non-commercial method for types I and II antibodies are in current use. Differences in sensitivity of the non-commercial methods for type I antibodies related more to the antigen: antibody ratio in the test system than to the method itself. A radioimmune assay for types I and II antibodies showed the best sensitivity but that of an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method was poor.
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