An enzyme linked immunoadsorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect IgG, IgM, and IgA antibody in urine to a crude antigenic mixture prepared from six arbitrarily chosen strains of common coliform urinary pathogens. In a group of patients with symptoms of urinary tract infection 24 of 80 (30%) urine samples were positive on culture by conventional methods, 58 of 80 (72.5%) were positive for polymorphs on microscopy, and 72 of 80 (90%) were positive for antibody by ELISA. Secretory component was detected in 28 of 80 (35%) samples, and this is consistent with local antibody production. The results show that antibody can be detected in a wide range of urine samples using a simple antigen mixture, and this may form the basis of a useful test to diagnose urinary tract infection.
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