Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division

Defining a positive immune response for ELISPOT

ELISPOT is a commonly used assay for measuring immune responses, but there is no consensus among researchers as to what output indicates a true “response.”  Statistical methods exist to determine a positive response in ELISPOT data, but researchers often don’t use them. VIDD senior staff scientist Dr. Zoe Moodie and colleagues developed two of these methods, based on DFR, or distribution free resampling, and have now created a user-friendly, free, online interface and software so investigators can more easily implement them (http://www.scharp.org/zoe/runDFR/).  HVTN trials have been using the more recently developed method, DFR2x, since 2006. If these methods of determining immune responses become more widely used (i.e., beyond HVTN trials), the researchers hope they could aid clinical development of vaccines and other immunological advances.

Moodie Z, Price L, Gouttefangeas C, Mander A, Janetzki S, Löwer M, Welters MJ, Ottensmeier C, van der Burg SH, Britten CM.   Response definition criteria for ELISPOT assays revisited.  Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2010 Jun 15.