Agglutination and precipitation reactions are similar in principle; both depend on cross-linking and lattice formation. In agglutination reactions, however, the antigen consists of relatively large particles rather than soluble molecules, so that larger aggregates of antigen and antibody are formed, which are much easier to see (figure 17.7).
In direct agglutination tests, antibodies are measured against particulate antigens, such as red blood cells, bacteria, or fungi. The serum is serially diluted and tested against a known amount
Figure 17.7 Agglutination of Erythrocytes in an ABO Blood Typing
(a) The red cells are agglutinated when mixed with anti-A antibodies. (b) Anti-B antibodies do not agglutinate the red cells.The blood group is Type A.
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