Toxoplasma antibodies

Microbiology

Notes

 

  • Toxoplasma is a parasite that can cause a glandular fever like illness and may affect a foetus during pregnancy. It can reactivate in immunocompromised patients, for example causing cerebral toxoplasmosis in AIDS
  • The laboratory performs a serological Toxoplasma screening test that will be referred to the reference lab if positive.
  • Normally a level of <10iu/ml indicates no previous Toxoplasma infection. However in the setting of HIV infection, severe immunocompromise and ocular Toxoplasma infection a lower threshold of <4 iu/ml is taken as negative and any sample with levels above threshold is referred to the National Reference Lab, Swansea for further investigation including IgM tests.
  • Toxoplasma antibody avidity testing is also available on discussion with a Microbiologist (this may be useful for possible pregnancy associated infection).
  • Toxoplasma nucleic acid detection assays (e.g. PCR) can be performed on vitreous and aqueous fluid samples or an EDTA blood sample. Please discuss with the laboratory.
  • This test is part of the following viral screen sets:

Sample requirements

Serum - paired samples normally required

8.5ml of blood taken into a plain gel tube 

8.5mL BD Vacutainer tube

Required information

  • Relevant clinical details
  • Date of onset
  • Pregnancy including gestational age

Storage/transport

Store at fridge temperature

Transport as soon as possible at ambient temperature

Turnaround time

Positives referred to a National Reference Centre

Negatives: 3 - 5 days

Positives: 10 - 14 days


Page last reviewed: 25/11/2013