Medical Definition of ELISA

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

ELISA: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, a rapid immunochemical test that involves an enzyme used for measuring a wide variety of tests of body fluids. ELISA tests detect substances that have antigenic properties, primarily proteins rather than small molecules and ions, such as glucose and potassium. Some of these substances include hormones, bacterial antigens, and antibodies. ELISA tests are generally highly sensitive and specific, and they compare favorably with radioimmune assay (RIA) tests. They have the added advantage of not requiring the use of radioisotopes or radiation-counting apparatus.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018