4 Pros And Cons Of The Types Of ELISA Kit

ELISAs kit

ELISA kit is a kind of immunoassay that measures the concentration of a particular target in a sample. Blood, serum, tissue culture supernatants, cell extracts, saliva, tissue samples, and urine are all common ELISA specimens.

ELISAs perform on 96-well microplates coated with a capture antigen specific for the target molecule. This antibody captures the target component when incubated with the test sample, benchmarks, or controls. Different types of ELISAs are easily accessible in the market, each with somewhat different basic processes. All of these, however, are related to the notion that an antigen will bind to a certain epitope.

But how can you know the kind of ELISA you’ll need for your research? What advantages and drawbacks do various ELISA kits bring? Read on to learn about the common types of ELISA tests and how to use them.

What are the pros and cons of various types of ELISA?

The four predominant types of ELISA are direct, indirect, sandwich, and competitive. Each assessment has its own set of advantages and applicability. Here are some key characteristics of each kind of ELISA test:

Direct ELISA:

ELISA kits utilize these as the most fundamental kinds of testing. They are termed direct since the identification technique only necessitates the use of one antibody. The core detecting antibody is instantly tagged with a coupled enzyme when the reagent is added, resulting in a color shift. It is not necessary to use a secondary antibody. When checking for the antigen of interest within a specimen, an obstructing agent such as BSA must be used to exclude any other potential binding sites. For more information about elisa kits, visit https://www.mybiosource.com/elisa-kits

Even though just one antibody works here, direct ELISAs are known to reduce antibody cross-reactivity. However, as each of the individual antibodies employed in these tests has to be enzyme-labeled, the test’s cost and turnaround time may increase. A fresh detection antibody is labeled for each new test. Direct ELISAs, contrary to indirect ELISAs, have a slower reaction because the signal produced by the test is not amplified as much. Despite this, they have a much faster detection speed since only one step is required for detection.


  • This ELISA format requires fewer reagents and procedures, making it easy and fast while reducing the risk of user mistakes.
  • Abolishment of specific antibody cross-reactivity.


  • Because antigen encapsulation is not specific, there is a risk of significant background interference.
  • Each monoclonal antibody must be tagged separately, which takes time and money.
  • There is no signal enhancement.
  • Low flexibility – each target protein requires a unique conjugated primary antibody.
  • The primary antibody’s immunoreactivity is prone to harm if labeled with enzymes.


Indirect ELISA:

Two antibodies are essential in the detecting stage of indirect ELISAs. This is a two-step process that adds to the amount of time required to finish the exam. The antigen of interest is coated on the plate; then, the primary antibody is injected into the wells. If the focus antigen is detectable in the wellheads, the target molecule will selectively bind to it. The extra antibody, previously marked with an agent for identification, will then be given.

The principal antibody will connect to the antigen once the supplemental antibody has attached to it. Based on the known color change, you may determine the antigen level. Because the wash cycle eliminates small color alterations, the more antibodies are bound to the antigen, the more hue changes.


  • A secondary antibody may be employed to fit the primary antibody’s host species, and a broad range of designated secondary antibodies are commercially accessible.
  • Since each primary antibody includes multiple epitopes, more than one labeled antibody may attach to the primary antibody.
  • No label interacts with the primary antibody’s locations, resulting in maximum immunoreactivity.
  • It’s more cost-effective since fewer tagged antibodies are needed.


  • A more complicated process is needed since the secondary antibody requires a different incubation phase.
  • Cross-reactivity is a nonspecific

Competitive ELISA:

This technique identifies tiny substances such as lipids, pheromones, and short peptides. Yp can also discover larger molecules, but greater concentrations are essential.

Competitive ELISAs work on the premise that a strain antigen and an enzyme-coupled version of the same antigen will compete for a small selection of antibody binding sites. Another strategy is to compete with the bound antigen for cellular compartments on the pre-coated dish. The tagged antibody will compete for binding sites with the antibody in the assay.

The lower the signal produced by the test when detecting antibody content in a mixture, the higher the number of specific antibodies in the specimen. The accessible tagged antibody will compete for binding with the protein pre-coated to the wells; if more protein in the sample can attach, more of the labeled antibody is eliminated after the wash cycles. The same idea applies to marked antigens.


  • ELISA format may be direct, indirect, or sandwich.
  • The antigen is collected and identified just once.
  • It reduces sample dispersion and data matrix effects.


  • It takes a long time to complete since the procedure is so complicated.
  • Limitations of the chosen detection format.

Sandwich ELISA:

Types Of ELISA Kit
Source: medium.com

The most well-known assays are sandwich ELISAs. The relevant antigen is wedged among two antibodies, as the name suggests. There are two types of assays of sandwiches: direct and indirect.

The antigen of interest must be 20 aa length since it exists between two antibodies. This ensures that the antibodies used may bind to a variety of antigen epitopes and that the attachment of each antibody works seamlessly. The target antigen is absorbed into the wells of the test by the capture monoclonal antibody. After the sample sticks to the wells, the detection antibody may be added, which will bind to the particular antigen if it is present.

When doing a sandwich ELISA, it is essential to use matching pairs of antibodies. Matching pairs are antibodies tested together ensures that they bind to different epitopes of an antigen. This eliminates the chance that the antibodies will recognize the precise spot.


  • Flexibility and sensitivity are possible because of the employment of both, directly and indirectly, detection techniques.
  • The antigen is detected using two antibodies.
  • It is suitable for complicated samples since the antigen does not need purifying before testing.


  • In comparison to other ELISA formats, this process is more complex and needs more incubation stages.
  • Cross-reactivity between the various antibodies must be verified.

In conclusion

For medical diagnostic purposes, the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) is an essential tool. HIV, Hepatitis, flu, anemia, Lyme disease, food intolerances, and other illnesses may be detectable with an ELISA test. There is currently a huge selection of ELISA kits accessible from manufacturers all over the world. As a result, the categories listed above will assist you in selecting your chosen assessment.