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Synthetic peptides

These have been synthesized and used with panels of sera, and again, part of the infected population do not respond to a single antigen, so an array of them is necessary to get good sensitivity.104,105 They have been applied in different supports and some were available as rapid tests (PaGia®).106 This test has now been withdrawn from the market.

Different supports

The first serological tests were devised to be used in glass tubes where the sera would be mixed, in several dilutions, with the antigens in ideal proportions. Glass smears were used for agglutination and demarked smears for immunofluorescence. With the era of plastics, polypropylene tubes were used, with the advantage of a single use and discard, avoiding the time-consuming and imperfect process of washing.

Very shortly after, plastic (polypropylene or other) microplates were applied in serology, with easy handling of hundreds of samples. Their use was routine by the time ELISA was described.78 Antigens in ELISA were fixed in the wells by special buffers, and all the reactions were faster. Later, for those laboratories that process a few samples of sera a day, detached rows of the plate (strips) were available.

When purified antigens, recombinant proteins, and synthetic peptides were available, spots in filter papers (or different materials) were used, substituted in blots by nitrocellulose membranes.

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