Immunoassays are helpful serological techniques for the laboratory diagnosis of autoimmune bullous diseases (AIBD) and for monitoring disease activity of individual patients. The three main immunoassays are immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation, and ELISA. All three make use of the ability of the autoimmune IgG to bind to the target antigen. Immunoblotting is used to visualize the apparent molecular mass of the antigen, thereby enabling its identification. The same goes for immunoprecipitation that, although being a more laborious technique than immunoblotting, has the advantage that it recognizes more epitopes on the autoantigen than immunoblotting. Whereas immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation are qualitative assays, ELISA is a rapid and easy quantitative technique. ELISA therefore enables monitoring of the antibody titer during the disease course.
KeywordsAntigen Epitope Immunoglobulin Immunoblot Immunoprecipitation ELISA Autoimmune disease Pemphigus Pemphigoid
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