Anti-nuclear antibodies are autoantibodies that the body produces against molecules present in cell nuclei, including DNA and histone proteins. Formation of anti-ds-DNA (Anti-double stranded DNA) antibodies is seen characteristically in autoimmune disorders like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) but is only rarely observed in other autoimmune disorders. The levels and frequency of detection of Anti-ds-DNA antibodies fluctuate with disease activity. Anti-ds-DNA antibody levels may decrease with treatment that is immunosuppressive, and when the disease is in remission. ELISA technology helps in estimating the levels of lgG, LGM and lgA class of antibodies. Out of these, the lgG antibodies are clinically more relevant.
Anti ds-DNA antibody measurement is used as a supportive evidence in the diagnosis of SLE. This test also helps differentiate it from other autoimmune disorders. Post the diagnosis of SLE, this test is used to monitor the progression of the disease. Patients with SLE often have flare-ups during which the symptoms increase in severity. Increase in the level of Anti ds-DNA antibody can be a prior indicator of such flare-ups.