Viral Hemagglutination Inhibition Test

∞ generated and posted on 2016.03.20 ∞

Antibody blocking of the clumping of red blood cells as otherwise mediated by virus binding.

Whereas with viral hemagglutination there is a clumping (agglutination) of red blood cells (hemagglutination), and this occurs specifically as a consequence of binding of individual virions to more than one red blood cell, with viral hemagglutination inhibition that virus-cell interaction is blocked by antibody binding. Specifically, that antibody binding that is being assayed for is to the virus particles rather than to the red blood cells.

This assay can be used to subtype viruses into distinct serotypes, which is accomplished by employing antibody that is known to inactivate one strain of virus but not another. It is also useful as a means of testing for the presence of antiviral antibodies in a patient's serum, i.e., for the sake of testing for seroconversion.

ELISA-based assays are a more modern and in many cases can be a more convenient means of gaining such information, however.