Methodologies

Our capabilities and expertise cover a wide range of immunoassay and molecular technologies for disease diagnosis and pathogen detection. We find the methodology which best meets the clinical requirements and adds value to the diagnosis of each target disease or pathogen.

Some of these include:

ELISA

We have combined the use of defined antigens, including synthetic peptides and recombinant proteins, with our patented QuickELISA™ format to develop highly accurate ELISA tests. The novel QuickELISA format simplifies the assay procedure with a single binding step. In addition, antibodies of all classes, and from both humans and animal species, can be detected in the same assay.

In our QuickELISA Anthrax kit, the use of a recombinant Protective Antigen in the QuickELISA format resulted in specificity greater than 99%, eliminating the need for a confirmatory test. Similarly, our C6 Lyme ELISA is based on a synthetic C6 peptide, likewise yielding over 99% specificity. These assays are performed in standard 96 well microplates, allowing for efficient processing either manually or using automated ELISA instruments.

All of our reagents are provided ready to use, further reducing hands-on time.

 

Western Blot

When accurate diagnosis requires detecting and distinguishing antibodies to individual antigen components, Western Blot is the method of choice. This assay method yields a pattern of bands on an antigen-coated membrane, which is specific for each disease, similar to a bar code. Our Western Blot kits are based on clear separation of proteins by SDS-PAGE, followed by transfer to blotting membranes formatted as individual strips.

The kits’ combination of ready to use strips and reagents reduces this formerly lengthy and labor-intensive technique to a roughly two hour assay. Western Blot has been established as the confirmatory test for HIV infection, and is in use as well as for parasitic diseases such as Cysticercosis and Chagas’ Disease and a variety of other bacterial and viral illnesses. Thanks to the ability to separate specific from non-specific antibodies to the disease pathogen, the specificity of Western Blot testing typically approaches 100%.

Immunetics’ Western Blot kits for HIV and Cysticercosis make use of proven procedures licensed from the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control. For researchers who create their own Western Blots, we offer a line of Miniblotter® instruments which simplify and speed up the screening of multiple small-volume samples, such as monoclonal antibodies or sera.

 

Molecular methods

To detect low numbers of bacteria or other microbial pathogens, molecular amplification techniques provide a powerful tool. Nucleic acid sequences specific to the target organism can be amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) many orders of magnitude. DNA probes with complementary sequences will bind to the amplified pathogen nucleic acid sequences, allowing their detection.

In Immunetics’ approach, the probes have been immobilized on a membrane to form a Reverse Line Blot. The inclusion of a variety of probes makes it possible to identify the specific pathogen present in a blood sample or other clinical specimen. Immunetics is applying this approach to the detection and identification of bacterial pathogens associated with sepsis.

Our methodology allows detection and identification of a single organism in a human blood sample, a level of sensitivity equal to or exceeding that of traditional microbiological culture. But with rapid processing techniques and instrumentation, same day results are possible, in contrast with the much slower turnaround time of the culture methods.