How can the Ouchterlony Test be used to confirm what species a blood sample belongs to? What results would be seen?

Expert Answers
ncchemist eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Ouchterlony Test is technically called Ouchterlony double immunodiffusion.  It was created by Swedish doctor Orjan Ouchterlony over 50 years ago.  It involves antibody-antigen recognition.  Antibodies are designed and made by the cells of living organisms to interact with specific antigens encountered.  The antibody-antigen interaction is very specific.  In the Ouchterlony test, cells from a test subject are placed in wells on an agarose gel plate.  Various antibodies and antigens are then placed in wells surrounding the test sample.  Antibodies and antigens will diffuse into the gel and when compatible antibodies and antigens interact with each other the complex they form precipitates on the gel plate as a solid white line.  Visualizing which complexes were made allows the identification of specific antibodies or antigens in the test sample.  Different species will have different particles in their blood, so this can be used to differentiate between them.  The size of the line and its relative position on the plate can allow some determination as to which types of antibodies or antigens are more prevalent in the sample.

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question