Bullous pemphigoid (BP), a common autoimmune blistering disease, is increasing in incidence and conveys a high mortality. Detection of autoantibodies targeting the noncollagenous 16A (NC16A) domain of type XVII collagen using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing BP. We have developed a rapid, low-cost, and widely applicable ELISA-based system to detect the NC16A autoimmune antibody and then diagnose and monitor BP disease activity using a piece of filter paper, a wax-printer, and NC16A antigens. Both sera and/or blister fluids from 14 untreated BP patients were analyzed. The control group included healthy volunteers and patients with other blistering disorders such as pemphigus vulgaris. In our established paper-based ELISA (P-ELISA) system, only 2 μL of serum or blister fluid and 70 min were required to detect anti-NC16A autoimmune antibodies. The relative color intensity was significantly higher in the BP group than in the control groups when using either serum (P < 0.05) or blister fluid (P < 0.001) specimens from BP patients. The results of P- ELISA were moderately correlated with the titer of the commercial ELISA kit (MBL, Japan) (rho = 0.5680, P = 0.0011). This newly developed system allows for rapid and convenient diagnosis and/or monitoring of BP disease activity.
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