27.1: Learning Objectives
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After this lab you should be able to:
- Explain the immunological basis of the ELISA and Slide Agglutination tests.
- Explain the procedures of the tests.
- Interpret the results of a simple ELISA and the StaphTEX test.
- Compare and Contrast the immunological mechanism of these tests.
“In April 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that clinicians screen adolescents and adults ages 15 to 65 years for HIV infection. Younger adolescents and older adults who are at increased risk should also be screened. They also recommend screening all pregnant women for HIV, including those who present in labor whose HIV status is unknown.”1
Immunological diagnostic methods have become an essential, integral part of diagnosing disease. One can either look for the pathogen (antigen), or the patient’s immune response to the pathogen (patient serum antibodies). These tests have become very specific and sophisticated technologies. Today there are “5th Generation” assays which are rapid, highly accurate molecular tests that test for and differentiate signals from both Ag and Ab.
The tests in today’s lab are tried and true tests that, though older, are still used in clinical and research labs. Often ELISA and Agglutination tests are used as screening tests; if tests are positive then further testing is done.
Contributors and Attributions
Kelly C. Burke (College of the Canyons)