Antibody Based Technologies - Methods of Detection of Parasites

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Chapter: Pharmaceutical Microbiology : Protozoa

For the major protozoan parasites a number of immunology based methods exist to detect the presence of organisms in clinical samples. These include the use of agglutination, complement fixation and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)


ANTIBODY BASED TECHNOLOGIES

 

For the major protozoan parasites a number of immunology  based methods exist to detect the presence of organisms in clinical samples. These include the use of agglutination, complement fixation and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The most commonly used method is the ELISA and this can be used to detect the presence of antigens in samples (direct assay) or antigen specific antibodies in patients’ serum (indirect). The ELISA method has a number of advantages in that it can be automated and has good specificity and sensitivity. Although a number of ELISA based detection kits are available their cost can be a limitation to use especially in those developing countries where parasitic infections are endemic. The use of indirect ELISA methods for determining the infection status of the patient can also be difficult because previous exposure to the parasite can cause problems and the immune status of the patients can also impact on antibody production.

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