Scientists in different fraternities often need access to the best tools to help in research. One of the essential tools a scientist must have is an antibody, antigen, or protein synthesis kit for different scientific purposes. Of the numerous kits available in the market, the ELISA Kit has gained immense popularity over the years due to its accuracy, reliability, and simplicity. Here are seven important things you need to know about ELISA Kits.

1.   What Is An ELISA Kit?

Before even going further into the details of how to use Elisa Kits, the first thing to note about them is what they are. The term “ELISA” in ELISA Kits refers to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, a method used to assess the presence and quantity of different antibodies in a sample, depending on the types of samples used.

The technique has been around for over half a century after being introduced by Eva Engvall and Peter Perlmann in 1971. Many ELISA Kits are distributed as a pre-packaged set of reagents and materials for different studies. Ordinarily, a typical ELISA kit would have 96 plates, allowing numerous samples to be evaluated in a single experiment.

2.   How ELISA Kits Work

The basic principle behind the functioning of an ELISA kit is that when a sample has come into contact with a virus, it produces antibodies in response. Therefore, detecting the presence of the antibodies by observing whether antibodies bind with the pre-determined antigens allows for the inference that the sample has specific viral loads.

In a basic ELISA test, antigens are placed on a plastic surface, after which the sample is added to the kit. Any of the test antibodies will directly attach to the test antigens. The next step is adding a marker that will turn colors to indicate a positive test.

In instances where the antibodies are not present, there will not be a color change when the marker is added. Therefore, the inference will be that the sample did not have the virus.

3.   Different Types Of ELISA Kits And Factors Affecting Which One To Choose

There are four different types of ELISA kit tests: Direct ELISA, indirect ELISA, Sandwich ELISA, and Competitive ELISA. All these four ELISA have unique advantages and disadvantages and use cases which determine which one you should choose for your studies and samples.

Direct ELISA is preferable as it saves time and reagents due to its straightforward approach. While the indirect ELISA has a relatively long protocol compared to the direct ELISA, it is preferred for its high flexibility as the secondary antibody can be used in different tests.

Sandwich ELISA is most commonly used for its high specificity and applicability for complex samples. In contrast, the Competitive ELISA is only used for small antigens and depends on which base ELISA the scientist selects for the study.

4.   Benefits Of ELISA Kits

ELISA Kits have been around for over fifty years due to their versatility and simplicity of use. An ELISA Kit can easily detect different kinds of antibodies, even when at low levels. This allows it to be used in various fields, especially in the medical sector.

Similarly, ELISA kits are also very cheap to purchase compared to other immunosorbent test methods. 

5.   Limitations Of ELISA Kits

While ELISA kits are highly dependable in numerous instances, they also suffer from some inadequacies based on false positives or negatives, especially when the scientist does not follow the steps correctly. For some ELISA tests, it is necessary to have specialized equipment for storage since the antibodies are proteins and might degenerate when at room temperature for a long time.

6.   Factors Affecting The Accuracy Of ELISA Kits Results

Generally, ELISA Kits are highly accurate in detecting different antibodies in samples. However, different factors may affect how accurate the test results are. For example, the assay plate’s quality and the reagents’ quality might affect how the antibodies and antigens combine, subsequently affecting the results.

Depending on the sample and sample size, choosing which type of ELISA to use can also affect the test results.

7.   Usage Of ELISA Kits In Medical Diagnosis

One of the most common uses of ELISA is in medical diagnosis. In the medical fraternity, ELISA Kits can be used to detect HIV, COVID-19, and different other viral diseases. Similarly, for cancer patients, PSA ELISA kits help medical practitioners identify prostate cancer’s presence.

However, this method is supplemented with other cancer detection methods for certainty. It is important to note that other molecular tests may be preferred to ELISA for medical diagnosis of viral conditions, which take time to produce antibodies.

Wrapping Up

ELISA Kits have been quite popular since the antibody detection and quantification technique was developed. Considering the method’s popularity in the scientific and medical world, it is no surprise that many manufacturers and suppliers provide the kits to the expectant market.

As a scientist or a researcher, you need to ensure that every kit you get meets the specific requirements of your study. You can achieve this by reaching out to reputable suppliers from both online and offline stores.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].