Hemagglutination assay and hemagglutination inhibition test (covered in the diagnostic virology) are very important assay Virology. Both use red blood cells where some viruses tend to bind on the sialic acid receptors found their surfaces. Red blood cells need to be well prepared before being used in the two assays.
Collection of red blood cells Red blood cells (RBCs) used for Hemagglutination assays (HA) can be collected from chicken, turkey, piscine (fish), equine (horses), guinea pigs, and humans. The blood is collected and immediately mixed with equal volume of Alsever’s solution or in vacutainer tubes containing anticoagulant (such as EDTA) and kept at 4 °C. The blood collected in EDTA tubes must be mixed with equal volume of Alsever’s solution immediately after arrival in the laboratory.
Preparation of red blood cells (RBCs)
Why do we have to wash RBCs?