What Is an ELISA Kit?
The field of medicine continues to innovate rapidly with the desire to offer the best healthcare to people and detect diseases as early as possible. One innovation that has changed how the industry identifies diseases is the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay test (ELISA) kit. This kit is ideal for identifying antibodies and determining the existence of specific immunoglobulins associated with certain conditions and diseases.
Since its invention, the kit has changed to make it robust for disease detection. Despite the numerous benefits, applications, and features ideal for disease detection, there is limited information about the kit. This article discusses the kit in advance to help you learn more about the kit.
What is the ELISA test?
The ELISA test is an initial diagnosis or the first stage of diagnosis. It aims to detect specific antibodies in the body.
Laboratories and organizations can use it in various ways, such as detecting steroids usage. If you have a sports club or an athlete representation agency, you buy Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 3 ELISA Kit to test whether they are using steroids or doping. It helps maintain a work and health culture within the athletes and the organization. Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase is an enzyme involved in steroid synthesis; hence their presence, as detected by the kit, can be a sign that the employee is using steroids.
Once you administer the test, the results can be positive or negative. The positive can guide you to further assessment to test for issues such as the levels of infections, steroid and drug concentration, the level of immunity, and the viral load in the body. It is necessary for testing for various conditions such as AIDs, syphilis, Zika, rotavirus, etc. It also enables you to determine certain dormant viruses and diseases in the body.
The ELISA test Kit
To administer all the discussed tests, you must have the ELISA test kit. The kits are fitted into different machines and apparatus to help the lab experts isolate proteins, viruses, antigens, peptides, and other enzymes in the sample. There is no universal ELISA test kit; they vary depending on what you need to test. Your sample is subjected to various ELISA test kits before generating a diagnosis report. There are those used in animals, and there are those suitable for use in human beings.
The variation makes them an ideal tool for scientific research. Most scientists use them for disease detection in animals and human beings. Due to continuous innovations and medical research, new ELISA test kits exist for specific conditions. The existing ones also undergo more modifications to make them more efficient.
Are they commercially available?
Yes, you can buy these kits and use them for other reasons besides scientific studies and diagnosis. You can also make them at home. You should not use it for self-diagnosis. If you need a diagnosis, visit a healthcare facility, whether a clinic, pharmacy, or laboratory, and they can administer the tests. The test will cost you less than $2, and you can do as many tests as possible.
Basic principles of ELISA test kit
When using the kit for diagnosis and other tests, you must immobilize the antigen on a solid surface. Then you can subject it to a detection antibody with a molecule amenable to target or identify the desired enzyme, virus, protein, etc. The immobilization will facilitate the isolation and separation of the desired antigen from the rest. You should not conduct the test when an antigen is in motion.
Benefits and shortcomings of the ELISA test kit
For years, the kits have been used as a critical diagnostic tool and produced the desired results because they are highly sensitive and specific. It can detect low concentrations of antigens, enzymes, and viruses because they are directly targeted and isolated.
They are highly adaptable and flexible. The basic kit has a 96-well plate format; however, you can extend it to a 384-well plate format to detect other conditions. The protocols are easy to follow, and you can perform them independently. You can customize and manufacture the kit as long as you have the suitable materials.
Besides being qualitative and helping you decide whether the results are positive or negative, it can help you identify quantitative aspects. For instance, you can identify the viral load, steroids concentration in the body, etc. You can use it to test various samples such as saliva, urine, blood, serum, and plasm.
Despite the benefits, the kit has certain shortcomings. The detection process depends on the enzyme/substrate interaction. The further reaction can lead to other results, and you can miss the initial readings. Secondly, the data or the results from the test are limited. You can only identify the presence of an antigen, and the amount presents nothing more. You cannot also conduct multiple tests simultaneously.
The ELISA kit has revolutionized medicine and scientific research by helping laboratories. Unlike other tests, it offers qualitative and quantitative results.However, you need to be aware of its limitations, such as temporary readouts. You must also select the correct kit before conducting the studies or diagnosis.