SOTIRIS ZAFEIRIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOTIRIS ZAFEIRIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
ELISA test plates. Multi-well sample trays used for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) blood tests. This test checks for the presence of proteins such as antibodies and antigens. Antibodies are produced by the immune system in response to antigens from disease-causing organisms, such as hepatitis B, rubella, HIV and chlamydia. In a viral ELISA test, the patient's blood plasma is washed over a surface covered in the antigens of the virus being tested for. Any antibodies that are present bind to these antigens. A chemical is added that binds to the antibodies causing a colour change, which identifies the presence of a particular antibody.
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