Comparison between direct and indirect immunofluorescence method for determination of somatic cell count

  • Zlatina R. Becheva
  • Katya I. Gabrovska
  • Tzonka Ivanova Godjevargova
Original Paper


A sensitive indirect immunofluorescence (IF) assay for bovine neutrophil and somatic cell counting was developed. The obtained indirect IF was compared with direct IF. The direct IF method uses a single-fluorophore-conjugated antibody directed against the target of interest. The indirect IF method uses two antibodies. The primary antibody is unconjugated. The secondary antibody is directed against the primary and has fluorescent marker. Calibration curves for somatic cells (SC) in buffer model solutions were obtained by both methods, using fluorescence spectrophotometry. The measured linear range of somatic cells by the direct method was from 2 × 104 to 3 × 106 cells and by the indirect method was from 3 × 104 to 3 × 106 cells. The signal obtained by the indirect method was higher than the direct method at low concentrations of SC (from 30,000 to 100 000 cells/mL). That signal amplification probably is due to more than one fluorescent secondary antibody coupling to bound primary antibody. The same effect is observed by fluorescence microscopy. Consequently, the indirect IF method is more sensitive than the direct IF method. Conjugated primary antibodies are more expensive than their unconjugated counterparts, and secondary antibodies are relatively inexpensive. Therefore, using the same conjugated secondary antibody to detect different primary antibodies is cost-effective. Furthermore, a two-color staining microscopic procedure was proposed for simultaneous estimation of total SC count and neutrophil cell count.


Direct immunofluorescence Indirect immunofluorescence Fluorescent conjugate FITC Neutrophil Somatic cells 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biotechnology DepartmentUniversity “Prof. Dr Assen Zlatarov”BurgasBulgaria

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