PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
AIDS test: technician examining wells in an ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay) test plate, showing positive (yellow) and negative (clear) results for presence of antibodies to HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), the causative agent of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). The ELISA test involves adding a patient's blood serum to lysed (burst) T-lymphocytes infected with HIV, causing any viral antibodies in serum to bind to viral antigens from the T-cell. This operation is performed in one well on the test plate, and after washing, labelled antihuman immunoglobulin is added which provokes a colour change in the presence of antibodies to HIV.
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