J Autoimmun. 2004 Feb;22(1):65-72
Celiac.com 01/29/2004 - A new cloning technique developed by Italian researchers may lead to more accurate diagnoses of celiac disease in borderline patients, including those who are asymptomatic. The technique screens for anti-tTG antibodies in the intestinal mucosa by utilizing a cloning process to amplify the antibodies, thus allowing for their detection even in cases where only minute amounts are present. The new technique is similar to that developed and long utilized by Dr. Kenneth Fine of Enterolab, in that both techniques look for the presence of antibodies in the intestinal mucosa rather than in the blood. The new technique also has the potential to easily screen large numbers of people, which, if the researchers are correct, will lead to a celiac disease diagnostic explosion, as those who are missed by current screening methods will be properly diagnosed. The number of celiacs who are missed using current screening techniques is a topic of debate, and Dr. Fines methods have demonstrated that "in normal people without specific symptoms or syndromes , the stool test is just under three times more likely to be positive than blood tests," as reported in the Winter 2004 edition of Scott-Free newsletter. It would be very interesting to see how many people test positive in a healthy population using this new technique.