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More ELISPOT background information

What does ELISPOT mean?

"Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSpot." This refers to the use of enzymes in generating countable colored spots.

What does the ELISPOT technique do?

ELISPOT assays measure the frequency of immune system cells which can recognize specific “non-self” antigens and eliminate the corresponding invaders -- tumor cells, viruses, bacteria, and so forth.

These are simple yet highly sensitive assays for analyzing single-cell activation, especially specific immune responses to whole antigens or peptides. The colored spots are generated through as series of chemical applications, after which they can be enumerated either manually (via microscope) or through an automated analyzer system. The frequency of responding cells can be determined by comparing the number of spots with the number of cells added to each well.

What types of agencies are performing ELISPOT assays?

Universities, pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies and clinical laboratories, to name just a few.

What are some applications of ELISPOT assays?

This technique can be used to evaluate the responses of B or T cells to infections. It can also be used to identify T cell epitopes. This can be used for basic research, to evaluate the performance of vaccination trials, and to monitor disease status.

What are the advantages of computer-assisted spot counting?

Manual spot counting is a tedious and error-prone process, especially when hundreds of spots must be enumerated. It is also a highly subjective process, as one is forced to ascertain which colored regions count as actual cell spots. An ELISPOT analyzer can be used to relieve the tedium of this process, and to make spot counting a more objective process.