Path 415…Putting what you learned to practice

Hello everyone!

In today’s lecture we went through some basic principles of immunology that are often the basis for various immunological techniques related to research and health and human disease.

Coming out of today’s lecture, I expect you to be able to answer the following:

Describe the molecular basis of antigen-antibody interactions

What techniques best localize antigens in tissues or cells?

What two approaches could you use to detect seropositivity to HIV?

Describe the principle of agglutination reactions and two of their applications in the laboratory

How is flow cytometry suited to blood cell analysis and what are its uses in the clinical lab? The basic research lab?

Describe techniques that can measure immune status vs. immune function


To help tie things together, I also asked you to consider the following problem:

  • You work in a lab in a small town in northern Alaska.
  • The hospital is reporting 5 cases of severe illness in young children, and doctors are suspecting meningitis
  • The majority of N. meningitides types respond well to antibiotics and standard treatment
  • Health authorities want to track the serotypes that occur in communities — why might this be important?

The BC CDC wants you to identify if it is serotype B, in some or all cases, and can send you samples of Serogroup-B specific antisera.

HOW would you do this? …

Design an experiment that applies the most appropriate technique you learned today. What results would you expect to see if it is serotype B? Have you included controls to ensure your assay worked?