A method which speeds up the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is described. The procedure uses a modified Falcon fast assay screening system (Becton Dickinson Labware, Lincoln Park, NJ) and Falcon round-bottom 96-well plates. Antigen is adsorbed onto beads which extend from a lid and fit into 96-well plates. The beads are washed in a trough and reacted to antibody in the round-bottom plate. The labor required to wash the plates after coating with antigen, antibody or conjugate is thereby reduced. Greater flexibility and accuracy result, especially with the use of more than one 96-well plate. In this study, naturally occurring human IgG antibody responses to two isolated bacterial antigens were measured in over 200 subjects. It was found that numerical taxonomy could be used to split out the high IgG responders. The IgM response to one of the antigens was less variable and not significantly related to the IgG response. The fast ELISA is as useful to operate as the standard ELISA, but less stressful on the operator and more rapid.