Purpose of Titers Essay examples

Submitted By alibear23
Words: 297
Pages: 2

What does the antibody titer tell us about the immune status of a person?

The titers tell us whether or not a particular microbe is detected in a sample. Thus, whether a person has come in contact with it before or not. The book puts it this way, "The mere presence of antibodies does not necessarily indicate that the patient has a disease but only that he or she has possibly had contact with a microbe or its antigens through infection or vaccination. In screening tests for determining a patient’s history (rubella, for instance), knowing that a certain titer of antibodies is present can be significant, because it shows that the person has some protection against that infectious agent. When the test is being used to diagnose ongoing infection or disease, however, it is necessary to show a rising titer of antibodies. The accompanying figure indicates how such a test can be used to diagnose patients who have nonspecific symptoms that could fit several diseases. Lyme disease, for instance, can be mistaken for arthritis or viral infections." This is a good summary in that it clearly illustrates that not always does an antibody titer mean that a person is immune to a particular microbe. In fact the book goes on to say that there "are results in which a patient’s serum shows a positive reaction even though, in reality, he is not or has not been infected by the microbe. False positives, such as those in syphilis and HIV testing, arise when antibodies or other substances pres- ent