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Applied Immunology Question - Essay Example

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First introduced in the early 1970s, the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, is a highly sensitive method employed to detect presence of antigens in a variety of samples. The technique, which uses an enzyme as a label, involves binding antigen to the solid phase, incubating then…
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Applied Immunology Essay Question
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Download file to see previous pages The substrate of the enzyme labeled antibody is then added.
The enzyme hydrolyses or breaks down the substrate causing color production. The optical density of the final color is directly proportional to the quantity or amount of unknown antibody or antigen present. (NOTE: Same procedure is repeated for the detection of antigen in a serum) (Bach, 1982, 58)
ELISA is mainly applied in immunodiagnosis of infectious disease including measurement of viral antigens such as herpes, coxsackie and so on, measurement of bacterial and mycotic antigen such as brucella antigen, salmonella antigen and aflatoxin antigen, measurement of antigens to Trypanosoma cruzi and Schistosoma mansoni and the measurement of antibodies to viruses such as rubella, measles, herpes, rabies and so on. Various components in the blood sample of non-infected individuals can also be measured through ELISA, for example, hormone-insulin (Guttmann, 1981, 365).
Some of the advantages of the Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay include the fact that it does not require a radioactive substance/ radioisotope or a costly radiation counter (radiation counting apparatus). It is also advantageous in the sense that it is a highly sensitive and specific method and hence relatively very accurate. However, there are a few disadvantages relating its application in immunology. For one, it can be difficult to develop an ELISA and the microtitre plates cannot be re-used as the antibodies bind to the surface and are difficult to remove. Also, specificity varies by target and the assay measures exposure and vaccine response but not acute infection. For example, once a bird is ELISA antibody positive, the infection is probably over. In addition, the process of labeling ELISA samples are costly and time consuming and the outcome of the experiment depends on the quality of ELISA kit in use and the competence of the user (Klein, 1990, 411).
The Enzyme Linked Immunospot (ELISPOT) assay, developed by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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