Everything You Need To Know About The ELISA Test

ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay)  is used to measure the antibodies present in your blood and determines whether they are linked with any specific infectious conditions.

Antibodies are natural proteins produced by our body in response to toxic substances known as antigens. 

An ELISA Test Kit Is Used To Diagnosing The Following:

  • Syphilis
  • Rotavirus
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Zika virus
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Hiv (aids)
  • Lyme disease
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • The varicella-zoster virus causing shingles and chickenpox

Consult an ELISA kit company  for such diagnostic tests to get a better insight of your medical condition. Your doctor may recommend such tests if you’re showing the symptoms of the aforementioned conditions.

How It’s Done?

The procedure of the ELISA test starts by taking a sample of your blood by following these steps:

  • A nurse will cleanse your forearm with antiseptic
  • A band will be applied around your arm causing your veins to swell.
  • A needle will be placed to draw a small sample of blood
  • After taking the sample, the needle will be removed
  • You’ll be asked to maintain pressure with a small bandage to reduce blood flow.

After this process, a technician will test the blood sample in a laboratory for further analysis. It is almost a painless procedure that requires no special preparation. 

Always consult with your doctor if you have a fear of needles or become dizzy at the sight of needles or blood.

Is There Any Risk Involved?

It is a safe procedure and a very few risks associated with this test include

  • Bruising
  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Hemophilia
  • More Than Usual Bleeding 

If you had difficulty in giving blood in the past or have hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, make sure you tell your doctor.

Types Of ELISA tests?

Overall, there are four types of ELISA tests:

Direct ELISA Test 

Direct ELISA test includes the attachment of an antigen to a polystyrene plate accompanied by a labeled antibody that can react with a substrate and the antigen that can be measured.

It is the best option available if there are no other commercial ELISA test kits available to target the protein.

Indirect ELISA Test 

The indirect ELISA test includes two stages or layers where the attachment of an antigen to a polystyrene plate is accompanied by a primary or unlabeled antibody.

It is followed by the other labeled antibody (an anti-species antibody) that can react with both the substrate and the primary antibody.

Sandwich ELISA Test

Sandwich ELISA test includes the attachment of a matched antibody pair to a polystyrene plate followed by non-overlapping and specific epitopes of the antigen molecule.

Out of these, the first antibody is coated to the wells. The second antibody (known as the detection antibody) measures the concentration of the specimen.

Competitive ELISA Test

The competitive ELISA test is very similar to the sandwich, but involves the addition of proteins and competing antibodies when the second antibody is added. This test gives highly accurate results.

Advantages Of ELISA Tests

This versatile laboratory technique offers various advantages such as

  • Simple to perform
  • Easily automated
  • Highly sensitive
  • Offers quick and accurate results
  • Convenient for testing HIV 
  • It is safe as it does not need costly radiation counting apparatus or radioactive substances 

Conclusion

Although the ELISA test is simple and gives accurate results, waiting for the results for various conditions such as HIV can induce a lot of anxiety.

Do not panic, just make sure you go through the policies of the healthcare facility and state laws for reporting positive HIV results. Remember that if you diagnose the infectious disease in the early stage, you are already at the first step of treatment.

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