Complementdependent assays

The lytic activity of complement can be used in sensitive tests for the detection of antibodies recognizing cell surface antigens. Although now of limited application, it is still used widely in certain specialized situations, for example, the detection of antibodies recognizing histocompatibility antigens. Complement-mediated cytotoxicity is detected either by dye exclusion or by the release of 51 Cr from labeled cells. Complement fixation tests, once widely used, depend on the fact that antibody-antigen interaction will consume complement and the remaining complement can then be measured in a hemolytic assay. Though sensitive, these assays have declining usage.

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