Reproductive Medicine, Chronobiology
and Human Ethology, ISSN 0172780X
Vol.24 No.1/2, Feb-Apr 2003
of MELISA® for metal sensitivity testing
Valentine-Thon (1) & Hans-Walter Schiwara (2)
MELISA® (LTT) Center, Laboratory Dr. M.Sandkamp, B.Köster,
Dr. R. Hiller, Bremen, GERMANY.
2. in retirement from the former Laboratory Dr. Schiwara and
Partner, Bremen, GERMANY.
November 3, 2002 Accepted: November 12, 2002
lymphocyte transformation test, MELISA® , allergy, mercury,
This study was carried out to evaluate the reproducibility,
sensitivity, specificity, and reliability of the MELISA®
Test for detecting metal sensitivity in patients with clinical
symptoms of a type IV hypersensitivity to metal.
Blood from 250 patients was tested in MELISA® against
up to 20 different metals in 2 to 3 concentrations. The frequency
and distribution of metal reactivities, the sensitivity and
specificity of nickel reactivity in patients with and without
confirmed or suspected sensitivity to nickel, and the roles
of lymphocyte concentration and concentration of inorganic
mercury were analyzed. In addition, for reproducibility testing,
196 metal tests were performed in duplicate, and intra- and
interassay variations of MELISA® results were examined
in patients patch-test positive for the relevant metal.
Among the 250 patients, reactivity to 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or ³
5 metals was 26%, 36%, 15%, 12%, 6%, and 5%, respectively.
Reactivity was most frequent to nickel (73%), followed by
titanium (42%), cadmium (18%) gold (17%), palladium (13%),
lead (11%), beryllium (9%), inorganic mercury (8%), tin (8%),
and phenylmercury (6%). All patients (n=15) with confirmed
or suspected nickel allergy were positive in MELISA®,
while patients with no suspicion of nickel allergy were either
negative (n=6) or very low positive (n=4) in MELISA® .
reactivity is directly dependent on lymphocyte concentration:
the higher the lymphocyte concentration per test, the stronger
the reactivity. Concentrations of inorganic mercury > 0.5
µg/ml cause non antigen-specific (mitogenic) reactions
in a majority of patients. The reproducibility rate was 94%
using a cut-off of Stimulation Index ³ 3 or 99% using
a cut-off of ³ 5. While the absolute intra- and interassay
Stimulation Index values may vary, the qualitative results
are highly reproducible.
The MELISA® Test is reproducible, sensitive, specific,
and reliable for detecting metal sensitivity in metal-sensitive
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Society of Integrated Sciences
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