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a method of identifying a disease affecting man, animals, or plants based on the ability of blood-serum antibodies specifically to react with the corresponding antigens.
In medicine, serodiagnosis is used in diagnosing infectious and certain noninfectious diseases, using such methods as immunofluorescence. Antigens in tissue and such biological fluids as blood and urea are detected by means of complement fixation reaction and the retardation of passive hemagglutination, which are used in the serodiagnosis. Serodiagnosis is also used in the determination of bacterial and viral types isolated from diseased individuals and in the establishment of the specific relationships between proteins and human blood groups with the aid of specific serums. Another serodiagnostic method involves the recording of the characteristic changes in blood serum that occur as a result of the action of certain nonspecific reagents, for example, the sedimentation reactions with lipids during syphilis and the gelatinization of serum caused by formaldehyde during leishmaniasis.
V. I. POKROVSKII and B. A. GODOVANNYI
In veterinary medicine, serodiagnosis is used in the mass diagnosis of infectious animal diseases. It allows a disease to be diagnosed prior to the manifestation of clinical symptoms. Depending on the substance being studied and the suspected disease, various reactions can be used, including agglutination, precipitation, and complement fixation; the reactions are often combined with allergic reactions.
In plant growing, serodiagnosis is used in the determination of the infestation of plants by various pathogens, in the specific diagnosis of fungi, bacteria, and viruses, and in the tentative evaluation of plant resistance to various diseases. It is based on the administration of diagnostic serums, which are most often prepared from rabbits. The serologic method makes it possible to discern viruses and bacteria in plants exhibiting obvious disease symptoms and in plants with no visible symptoms, which facilitates the diagnosis of latent infestation in plants and the selection of healthy stock and grafts.
The serodiagnosis of viruses, bacteria, and fungi involves the use of immunofluorescence which is based on the administration of diagnostic serums containing antibodies combined (conjugated) with fluorescent substances. In plant cells and tissue the luminescence of antibodies reacting with their corresponding viruses, bacteria, or fungi permits the direct detection and determination of a pathogen, even when the pathogen is combined with other microorganisms.
M. S. DUNIN