Agglutination tests depend on cross-linking of particulate antigen by antibody molecules to form readily visible clumps. Soluble antigens can be coated onto particles to give an indirect agglutination. Antibodies interfere with viral agglutination of red cells in the hemagglutination inhibition test.
■ Compare the advantages and disadvantages of precipitation and agglutination tests.
■ In the hemagglutination inhibition test for antibodies against measles: (1) the measles virus when mixed with red cells causes hemagglutination; but (2) when anti-measles antibody is added to the virus before mixing with red cells, no hemagglutination occurs. Are the reactions in (1) and (2) antigen-specific? Why is hemagglutination inhibited?
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