Laboratory Methods

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Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)

This testing method is a type of immunoassay. It is based on the principle that antibodies will bind to very specific antigens to form antigen-antibody complexes, and enzyme-linked antigens or antibodies can be used to detect and measure these complexes.

To detect or measure an antibody in a person’s blood, a known antigen is attached to a solid surface. A solution containing the patient sample is added. If the patient’s sample contains antibody, it will bind to the antigen. A second antibody (against human antibodies) that is labelled with an enzyme is then added. If the enzyme-linked antibody binds to human antibodies, the enzyme will create a detectable change that indicates the presence and amount of the antibody in the patient sample.

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