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ANA Testing for Autoimmune Diseases

Flexible options for antinuclear antibody (ANA) testing solutions

Three platforms to fit your needs: ZEUS ELISA™, ZEUS IFA™, and AtheNA Multi-Lyte® multiplex tests for connective tissue and other autoimmune diseases

Normally, white blood cells in the body’s immune system help protect against harmful substances (such as bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, and blood and tissue from outside the body). The immune system acts to remove these substances by producing antibodies directed against specific antigens.

Autoimmune diseases develop when the body’s immune system cannot distinguish between itself and foreign antigens. This causes a reaction that attacks the body’s own tissue instead of fighting infection, resulting in the destruction of tissue, abnormal organ growth, and other changes in organ function.

Autoimmune disorders may be systemic (involving multiple organs and tissues) or organ specific. Commonly affected areas include:

  • Blood vessels
  • Connective tissues
  • Endocrine glands (e.g., thyroid and pancreas)
  • Joints
  • Muscles
  • Red blood cells
  • Skin

ANA testing for systemic rheumatic diseases

One group of autoimmune disorders consists of systemic rheumatic diseases, which are characterized by the presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANA); these are autoantibodies that specifically target proteins found in the nucleus of a cell. The presence of ANA may be associated with several autoimmune disorders, most commonly systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

ANA includes a broad spectrum of autoantibodies including antibody to native DNA (dsDNA), Sm antigen, U1nRNP, SS-A/Ro, SS-B/La, chromatin, Scl-70, centromere, Jo-1, and several other non-histone protein or non-histone protein-RNA complexes. Systemic rheumatic diseases may exhibit one or more antibodies in various amounts during an interval of observation.

Common systemic rheumatic diseases and related disorders

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE)
Lupus-like syndromes
Drug-induced lupus erythematosus
Sjögren’s syndrome
Scleroderma / CREST syndrome
Rheumatoid arthritis
Dermatomyositis and polymyositis
Overlap syndromes:

  • Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD)
  • RA and SLE
  • SLE and scleroderma
  • Scleroderma and dermatomyositis

American College of Rheumatology criteria for the diagnosis of SLE or related autoimmune disorders*

Malar rash – a rash over the cheeks and nose, often in the shape of a butterfly
Discoid rash – a rash that appears as red, raised, disk-shaped patches
Photosensitivity – a reaction to sun or light that causes a skin rash to appear or get worse
Oral ulcers – sores appearing in the mouth
Arthritis – joint pain and swelling of two or more joints in which the bones around the joints do not become destroyed
Serositis – inflammation of the lining around the lungs (pleuritis) or inflammation of the lining around the heart that causes chest pain which is worse with deep breathing (pericarditis)
Kidney disorder – persistent protein or cellular casts in the urine
Neurological disorder – seizures or psychosis
Blood disorder – anemia (low red blood cell count), leukopenia (low white blood cell count), lymphopenia (low level of specific white blood cells), or thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
Immunologic disorder – anti-DNA or anti-Sm or positive antiphospholipid antibodies
Abnormal antinuclear antibody (ANA) – positive ANA test result

* An autoimmune disorder diagnosis is considered for a patient exhibiting at least 4 of the 11 criteria (serially or simultaneously).

ZEUS Scientific offers a wide range of serological assays for a variety of autoimmune disorders across three technology platforms, so you can choose the best option for your lab’s needs and workflow.

  • ZEUS IFA™ Test Systems: User-friendly assays utilizing all-natural antigens and a proprietary cell fixation process for clear, easy-to-read staining patterns.
  • ZEUS ELISA™ Test Systems: Universal reagents and protocol enable you to run multiple ANA markers simultaneously, simplifying automation and improving turnaround time.
  • AtheNA Multi-Lyte® Test Systems: Screen for ANA and reflex to ANA markers within a single well.

View our Pattern Guide

Useful Links

For more information regarding autoimmune disorders, please see the links below: