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ELISA Test: What is it?

What is the ELISA Test?

The ELISA Test is designed to detect antibodies for a specific illness or disease. ELISA stands for ‘enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.’ Generally, this type of test is used to diagnose conditions such as HIV, pernicious anaemia and syphilis. Over recent months, the ELISA method has been developed to test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, determining if you have previously been infected with COVID-19.

How does it work?

For any type of ELISA Test, a blood sample must be collected. A Medical Professional will conduct sample collection, where they will obtain a venous blood sample from your vein. After sample collection, your blood sample will be sent to the relevant laboratory for examination.

Once the laboratory has received your blood sample, they will place this into a container that has been lined with a specific antigen. If antibodies related to the antigen are present, they will bind with the antigen. An enzyme is used during this process to speed up the reaction. When a substrate is added, the sample will change colour if the relevant antibodies are present. As well as indicating a positive result, the extent of the colour change can show the quantity of antibodies in the sample.

Antibodies are formed by the body to fight against an illness or disease. Therefore, if you undergo an ELISA Test, this will determine recent or past infections, rather than current infections.

Please note that if you choose the ELISA method to test if you have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, you should consider undergoing other types of COVID-19 tests for a more conclusive diagnosis.

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What are the benefits of this test?

  • This method of testing is quick to perform, and a large quantity of samples can be examined in a short amount of time.
  • The test is simple and is often a more cost-effective alternative to other testing methods.
  • The ELISA method has a high sensitivity and can detect small quantities of antibodies.
  • Can be used to detect a variety of conditions.

Can this type of test be used to identify antibodies for COVID-19?

Yes. VIVO Clinic are offering a COVID-19 ELISA Test, where sample collection can take place at your home or at one of our clinics. You can find out more about this by following this link.