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Serological methods I

Serological methods I

Serological methods are basic diagnostic methods used to identify antibodies and antigens in patient sample (serum, plasma). Agglutination and precipitation belong to classical serological methods that are used in diagnosis of infectious diseases (antibodies screening), serotyping of microorganisms and human blood group typing. Agglutination is based on reaction of particular (insoluble) antigen with antibodies, whereas precipitation involves reaction of colloidal (soluble) antigen and antibodies. In the immunodiagnostics an agglutination method as Coombs test is used to determine anti Rh antibodies in pregnant women (diagnosis of hemolytic disease of newborn). Another agglutination method involves latex agglutination that is used to determine, i.e. rheumatoid factor (diagnosis of autoimmune diseases) and hemagglutination method that can be used in, i.e. antibodies screening against Treponema pallidum, the main cause of syphilis. Radial immunodiffusion assay belongs to the precipitation method. This quantitative assay is based on immunodiffusion of antigens and antibodies in the gel and can be used in level analysis of complement components (C3, C4), inflammation proteins (CRP) and immunoglobulins (IgG, IgM and IgA). Modern precipitation methods performed in fluid involve nephelometry and turbidimetry.

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Keywords: agglutination, precipitation, serology

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author: Vladimíra Ďurmanová | organization: Institute of Immunology | published on: 23.5.2013 | last modified on: 23.5.2013
citation: Ďurmanová Vladimíra: Serological methods I. Multimedia support in the education of clinical and health care disciplines :: Portal of Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University [online] 2013-05-23, last modif. 2013-05-23 [cit. 2020-02-22] Available from WWW: <>. ISSN 1337-9577.

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