HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
AIDS virus antibodies test: technician performing an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test for antibodies to HIV, the virus causing AIDS. The ELISA test is performed in microtiter plates & involves adding a patient's blood serum to lysed (burst) T-lymphocytes infected with HIV, which causes any viral antibodies in the patient's serum to bind to viral antigens from the T-cell. A second, enzyme-bound antibody is added to detect the presence of any antigen-antibody complexes, which are demonstrated by the appearance of colour provided by an enzyme substrate. Negative samples remain colourless. The binding of the second antibody indicates the presence of HIV antibodies.
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