Hemagglutination Inhibition Assay

  • Erica SpackmanEmail author
  • Ioannis Sitaras
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2123)


The hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay for influenza A virus has been used since the 1940s. The assay may be utilized to detect or quantify antibodies to influenza A viruses and can be used to characterize differences in antigenic reactivity between influenza isolates. In addition, data from HI assays are routinely used for antigenic cartography, influenza virus surveillance, epidemiology, and vaccine-seed strain selection. For antibody quantification, the HI assay is a fast and inexpensive method; other than a source of red blood cells, no expensive or unusual lab equipment is needed, and results can be obtained within a few hours. Historically, the HI assay has also served as a primary method of subtype identification and is still used widely. However, as gene sequencing technology has evolved to be cheaper and faster, it is replacing the HI assay for this purpose.

Key words

Hemagglutination Hemagglutination inhibition Type A influenza Influenza subtype identification Antigenic characterization 


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Exotic and Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Unit, US National Poultry Research CenterUS Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research ServiceAthensUSA

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