Aims A novel immunoenzymatic assay using viral citrullinated peptides derived from Epstein–Barr virus-encoded proteins (viral citrullinated peptide 2 (VCP2)) has been developed and evaluated by means of a multicentre collaborative study.
Methods Three hundred nine sera from patients with established rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 36 with early arthritis, 12 with juvenile arthritis and 453 controls were tested for VCP2 and cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) antibodies.
Results The VCP2 assay showed 78.3% sensitivity and 97.1% specificity. VCP2 and CCP had a high concordance rate in patients with RA (88%) and controls (97%). However, 36 RA sera were positive in the CCP assay but negative on VCP2, and two RA sera reacted only on VCP2.
Conclusions The new VCP2 assay is endowed with high sensitivity and specificity. VCP2-positive RA sera are mostly but not completely contained in the CCP-positive population. Studies are in progress to establish whether the VCP2 assay can detect clinically distinct subsets of patients with RA.
- Autoimmune laboratory investigations
- rheumatoid arthritis
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