Serology tests are particular type of blood tests that are performed to detect and measure the level of antibodies in blood. When our body is exposed to bacteria or viruses, the immune system of the body produces specific antibodies against the organism. Serologic tests have been used in diagnosing various disease conditions. These tests normally focus on proteins made by our immune system.
Serology test has an important role in fixing the immune status or exposure of an animal or human being to a particular disease. The normal results are liable to vary depending on the lab as well as methodology of test. There could be no definitive answer as to what the tests will be considered protective with reference to a particular disease.
Serology tests help in detecting the level of antibodies in our body. When the result of the tests is negative, it means that the body has no antigen. It is a clear indication that the body has no infection. On the contrary, when the result is positive, it will indicate that the body has an immune system that responds to an antigen from exposure to disease either in current or past time.
These types of blood tests also help doctors to diagnose any autoimmune disorder as they are then able to find out whether antibodies to normal proteins or antigens are present in the blood. Presence of certain types of antibodies may also indicate that the person under survey is immune to one or more antigen. Therefore, future exposure to the same antigen is not likely to produce illness.
Let us consider the case of some critical diseases, where serology tests play their role by relevant diagnosis.
It is a viral infection of the respiratory system. This is a typical contagious disease that spreads through contact with infected mucus and saliva. Infected persons are said to release the infection with cough and sneezes. Basic diagnosis involves a typical chest check-up from a reputed diagnostic center.
The most dangerous thing about measles is that it lives on surfaces for hours. When the infected particles enter the air and settle on surfaces, anyone in close proximity is prone to be infected. Children are the worst sufferer of measles.
When the doctor fails to detect the presence of measles virus by simple observation, he or she may seek the help of serology tests to detect the presence of measles virus.
HIV is a virus that causes complete mutilation of immune system. This virus, if left untreated, infects and may also kill CD4 cells. CD4 cells act to produce immunity within our body. With more and more destruction of these cells, the body becomes more prone to get various types of infections and even cancers. This virus is transmitted through body fluids like blood, semen, breast milk and vaginal and rectal fluids. Eradication of this virus from body fluid seems an impossible task as of now despite several works and researches. With prolonged existence, the body is likely to develop Acute Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
Antibody or antigen tests are carried from the top HIV test centers. These tests have important role in detecting these viruses. Positive results are obtained within 18 to 45 days following initial infection with HIV. These tests, commonly known as serology tests, check the presence of antibodies and antigens. Detection of antigens is more important as it contains the virus that affects immune system.