All You Need To Know About An Elisa Test

What is ELISA?

ELISA stands for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. It is a test that is used in the detection and measure of the amount of antibodies that are present in the blood using an elisa kit. It was introduced by Peter Perlmann and Eva Engvall in 1971 at the Stockholm University. Antibodies are proteins normally produced by the body and used by the immune system in response to the presence bacteria or viruses.

Uses of an Elisa Test

Elisa test hiv
Credit via Flickr by Stacy Baker Kunst

When one goes to the hospital after observing that they are having signs or symptoms of a disease or a condition, they might be advised to take an elisa test. The use of which will allow the doctors to establish which condition someone is suffering from. The test can be used to establish and diagnose whether one has conditions such as HIV and AIDs, syphilis, hepatitis B, Zika virus, rotavirus, Lyme disease, pernicious anemia among diseases. In addition, the elisa test is currently used in the food industry to identify possible allergens that might be in a food product.

How is an Elisa Test Performed?

This test is usually performed by trained laboratory technicians. They usually have an elisa kit which contains the required chemicals to perform this test. It is a simple procedure that does not take a long time. The following steps are usually observed;

  • The technician will clean the part of the inside elbow, where the blood sample will be taken, with an antiseptic. They will then proceed to identify a vein and get a blood sample using a syringe.
  • Once they have collected enough blood, they will remove the needle and put a bandage with an antiseptic. One is advised to apply pressure on the bandage so as to prevent further bleeding.
  • The sample is then taken to the laboratory where it will be analyzed. The blood sample will then be tested against antigens from the elisa kit. A positive result will be determined by a change in color. If there is no change in color then antibodies are absent.
  • The results will then be sent back to the doctor who will give the results and explain what necessary steps are to be taken.

Through the test, they are not only to detect the presence of antibodies but also the quantity in which they are present. That might give an indication of what stage the disease or condition is at.

Risks Involved

By the steps that are taken when the test is being performed, it can be concluded that there are minimal chances of fatal aftermaths.
However, the risks that might come from taking the test might be due to the collection of the blood sample. One might develop infections from an unsterilized needle or from the skin being opened at the point the needle was inserted. Some people feel faint after blood is taken as a sample. Another risk associated with the elisa test is over bleeding. This is common in people who suffer from hemophilia. Those with this condition should inform their doctors about it.

Importance of an Elisa Test

Given that the accuracy of elisa test is higher than some of the other methods of testing, the elisa test is important in the diagnosing of certain diseases or conditions. By being able to identify infections, the elisa test is important in helping the doctors to know how best they can treat the infection one is diagnosed with.

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