The identification of diabetes-relevant islet autoantibodies is essential for predicting and preventing type 1 diabetes (T1D). The aim of the current study was to evaluate a newly developed electrochemiluminescence (ECL)-GAD antibody (GADA) assay and compare its sensitivity and disease relevance with standard radioassay. The assay was validated with serum samples from 227 newly diagnosed diabetic children; 68 prediabetic children who were prospectively followed to T1D; 130 nondiabetic children with confirmed islet autoantibodies to insulin, GAD65, IA-2, and/or ZnT8 longitudinally followed for 12 ± 3.7 years; and 181 age-matched, healthy, antibody-negative children. The ECL-GADA assay had a sensitivity similar to that of the standard GADA radioassay in children newly diagnosed with T1D, prediabetic children, and high-risk children with multiple positive islet autoantibodies. On the other hand, only 9 of 39 nondiabetic children with only a single islet autoantibody (GADA only) by radioassay were positive for ECL-GADA. GADA not detectable by ECL assay is shown to be of low affinity and likely not predictive of future diabetes. In conclusion, the new ECL assay identifies disease-relevant GADA by radioassay. It may help to improve the prediction and correct diagnosis of T1D among subjects positive only for GADA and no other islet autoantibodies.
- Received April 4, 2013.
- Accepted August 9, 2013.
- © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.
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