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Low level autoantibodies can be frequently detected in the general Australian population

Deshpande, P., Lucas, M., Brunt, S., Lucas, A., Hollingsworth, P. and Bundell, C. (2016) Low level autoantibodies can be frequently detected in the general Australian population. Pathology, 48 (5). pp. 483-490.

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The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and type of autoantibodies in a general Australian population cohort. Samples collected from 198 individuals included in a cross sectional Busselton Health Study were tested using autoantibody assays routinely performed at Clinical Immunology, PathWest Laboratory Medicine, Western Australia. At least one autoantibody was detected in 51.5% of individuals (males = 45.1%, females = 58.3%). The most frequently detected serum autoantibodies were anti-beta-2-glycoprotein I (12.1%) followed by anti-smooth muscle (11.6%) and anti-thyroid peroxidase (8.6%). Vasculitis associated anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies were present in 5.1%, while anti-nuclear antibodies were detected in 8.6% of individuals. Notably, 65% of positive results were detected at low levels with the exception of anti-myeloperoxidase and anti-beta 2 glycoprotein I IgG antibodies. Autoantibodies are commonly detected at low levels in a predominantly Australian or European population cohort. No large Australian study has yet provided these data for contemporary routine tests. This paper gives important information on the background frequency of autoantibodies in the general population. Due to the nature of this study we are unaware of whether these individuals have subsequently developed an autoimmune disease, however this was not clinically diagnosed at the time of sample collection.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: © 2016 Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.
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