• ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) is a plate-based assay technique designed for detecting and quantifying substances such as peptides, proteins, antibodies and hormones.
  • Other names, such as enzyme immunoassay (EIA), are also used to describe the same technology.
  • In an ELISA, an antigen must be immobilized on a solid surface and then complexed with an antibody that is linked to an enzyme.
  • Detection is accomplished by assessing the conjugated enzyme activity via incubation with a substrate to produce a measureable product. The most crucial element of the detection strategy is a highly specific antibody-antigen interaction.


  • Because the ELISA can be performed to evaluate either the presence of antigen or the presence of antibody in a sample, it is a useful tool for determining serum antibody concentrations (such as with the HIV test or West Nile virus).
  • It has also found applications in the food industry in detecting potential food allergens, such as milk, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and eggs and as serological blood test for coeliac disease.
  • ELISA can also be used in toxicology as a rapid presumptive screen for certain classes of drugs.
  • Dr Dennis E Bidwell and Alister Voller created the ELISA test to detect various kind of diseases, such as dengue, malaria, Chagas disease, Johne’s disease, and others.
  • ELISA tests also are used as in in vitro diagnostics in medical laboratories.

The other uses of ELISA include:

  • detection of Mycobacterium antibodies in tuberculosis
  • detection of rotavirus in faeces
  • detection of hepatitis B markers in serum
  • detection of enterotoxin of E. coli in faeces
  • detection of HIV antibodies in blood samples

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