To compare hematologic and serological parameters among patients with Sjogren’s syndrome (SS), dry eye syndrome (DES) and controls, and validate a novel multiplex-serology method for identifying auto-antibodies in these populations.
In a clinic-based case-control study a total of 422 participants were recruited, including 91 with SS, 120 DES, and 211 controls (age and sex frequency-matched). We measured blood counts, anti-nuclear-antibodies (ANA), anti-SSA/SSB, anti-ribonucleoprotein (RNP), anti-double-stranded-DNA (DS-DNA), and rheumatoid factor (RF) using the “Immunodot” qualitative-ELISA assay. Immunoglobulins, C3 and C4 were measured by immune-fluorescence. Autoantibodies were also quantified with a newly-developed method using glutathione-S-transferase fusion proteins of SSA/Ro 52 and 60kD and SSB/La (multiplex-serology), measuring median fluorescence intensity (MFI).
Among DES patients, only 2% (95%CI: 0.36-6.3) had positive immune serology. SS patients had lower lymphocyte, hemoglobin and C3 levels but higher prevalence of RF, ANA, anti-SSA/B and higher IgG and MFI levels, compared to DES and controls (P<0.001). Presence of anti-SSA/Ro-52kD was associated with SS [odds ratio (OR) = 2.05, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.46-2.88]. Anti-SSB/La was inversely associated with DES (OR = 0.81, 95%CI: 0.65-1.00) compared to controls. Positivity to RF (adjusted for age, gender and ethnicity OR = 5.03, 95%CI: 1.78-14.21), ANA (OR = 14.75, 95%CI: 4.09-53.17), or combination of anti-SSA/B (OR = 20.97, 95%CI: 4.60-95.54) were more likely in SS compared to DES. The novel multiplex-serology method correctly identified anti-SSA/B autoantibodies by ELISA among SS, DES patients and controls (sensitivity = 1.0, negative-predictive-value = 1.0).
Serologic parameters distinguish SS from DES patients and controls. A newly-developed multiplex-serology technique may be useful to detect autoantibodies in large epidemiologic studies.