Concept

Quellung reaction

Summary
The quellung reaction, also called the Neufeld reaction, is a biochemical reaction in which antibodies bind to the bacterial capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, Bacillus anthracis, Haemophilus influenzae, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella. The antibody reaction allows these species to be visualized under a microscope. If the reaction is positive, the capsule becomes opaque and appears to enlarge. Quellung is the German word for "swelling" and describes the microscopic appearance of pneumococcal or other bacterial capsules after their polysaccharide antigen has combined with a specific antibody. The antibody usually comes from serum taken from an immunized laboratory animal. As a result of this combination, and precipitation of the large, complex molecule formed, the capsule appears to swell, because of increased surface tension, and its outlines become demarcated. The pneumococcal quellung reaction was first described in 1902 by the sc
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