Cross reactions, in the context of medical diagnostics and immunology, refer to a situation where an antibody or a immune response directed against one antigen also reacts with a different antigen due to similarities in their molecular structure. This can occur in allergy testing, where a person who is allergic to a particular substance may have a positive test result for a different but related substance because of cross-reactivity between them. For example, some individuals who are allergic to birch pollen may also have symptoms when eating certain fruits, such as apples, due to cross-reactive proteins present in both.
'Immune sera' refers to the serum fraction of blood that contains antibodies produced in response to an antigenic stimulus, such as a vaccine or an infection. These antibodies are proteins known as immunoglobulins, which are secreted by B cells (a type of white blood cell) and can recognize and bind to specific antigens. Immune sera can be collected from an immunized individual and used as a source of passive immunity to protect against infection or disease. It is often used in research and diagnostic settings to identify or measure the presence of specific antigens or antibodies.
An Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) is a type of analytical biochemistry assay used to detect and quantify the presence of a substance, typically a protein or peptide, in a liquid sample. It takes its name from the enzyme-linked antibodies used in the assay.
In an ELISA, the sample is added to a well containing a surface that has been treated to capture the target substance. If the target substance is present in the sample, it will bind to the surface. Next, an enzyme-linked antibody specific to the target substance is added. This antibody will bind to the captured target substance if it is present. After washing away any unbound material, a substrate for the enzyme is added. If the enzyme is present due to its linkage to the antibody, it will catalyze a reaction that produces a detectable signal, such as a color change or fluorescence. The intensity of this signal is proportional to the amount of target substance present in the sample, allowing for quantification.
ELISAs are widely used in research and clinical settings to detect and measure various substances, including hormones, viruses, and bacteria. They offer high sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility, making them a reliable choice for many applications.
The Fluorescent Antibody Technique (FAT) is a type of immunofluorescence assay used in laboratory medicine and pathology for the detection and localization of specific antigens or antibodies in tissues, cells, or microorganisms. In this technique, a fluorescein-labeled antibody is used to selectively bind to the target antigen or antibody, forming an immune complex. When excited by light of a specific wavelength, the fluorescein label emits light at a longer wavelength, typically visualized as green fluorescence under a fluorescence microscope.
The FAT is widely used in diagnostic microbiology for the identification and characterization of various bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. It has also been applied in the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases and certain cancers by detecting specific antibodies or antigens in patient samples. The main advantage of FAT is its high sensitivity and specificity, allowing for accurate detection and differentiation of various pathogens and disease markers. However, it requires specialized equipment and trained personnel to perform and interpret the results.