Licarete E et al. – Using a chimeric protein, the authors developed a new sensitive and specific ELISA to detect collagen specific antibodies. The results show a low prevalence of collagen VII–specific autoantibodies in inflammatory bowel disease, pemphigus and bullous pemphigoid. Furthermore, they show that the autoimmune response against collagen VII is dominated by IgG4 autoantibodies. The new immunoassay should prove a useful tool for clinical and translational research and should improve the routine diagnosis and disease monitoring in diseases associated with collagen VII–specific autoimmunity.