An indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for the diagnosis of allergy to a house dust mite, Dermatophagoides farinae. The efficacy of the ELISA was then evaluated against a prick test using a commercial allergen. Eighty five suspected allergic rhinitis patients from the Otorhinolaryngology Department, Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, were tested with the ELISA and prick test. Prick test and ELISA results were positive in 84.7% and 80.0% of the patients respectively. The ELISA was found to have 87.5% sensitivity, 61.5% specificity, 92.6% positive predictive value, 47.1% negative predictive value, 7.4% false positive and 52.9% false negative. There was total agreement between the prick test and ELISA for prick test grades of 3+ and 4+. It is concluded that the ELISA is a useful assay for detection of individuals who are highly sensitive to D. farinae.
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