A direct solid-phase enzyme immunoassay (Auszyme I) and a direct solid-phase radioimmunoassay (Ausria II) for detection of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) were compared in tests with a panel of 347 human sera. Compared with RIA, EIA showed a sensitivity of 98% with 153 HBsAg-positive sera and a specificity of 99% with 194 HBsAg-negative sera. Sera that gave false negative and false positive results by EIA were re-examined by both RIA and EIA to confirm the initial result. Use of less than the recommended volume of serum for EIA produced results inconsistent with RIA in four of 27 sera examined. Quantitative correlation between RIA and EIA was low (r = 0.691). Positive controls used for EIA showed considerable variation from day to day, although intra-assay variation was much less. The sensitivity of the EIA method examined compares favourably with previously published EIA studies and with the RIA used in this study. Auszyme I EIA is a sensitive and specific third generation test for HBsAg that offers several advantages over currently used RIA techniques.


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