In a serological test, blood is examined for the presence of antigens and/or antibodies. Antigens are proteins of micro-organisms. These micro-organisms are pathogens that can cause infections.
A serological test may be carried out, among other things, in case of (potential) infection by a micro-organism or in order to determine the immune status against a specific micro-organism. Additionally, it can also be used in the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases, in rejection responses in case of transplantation and in the examination of an allergy.
Antigens are foreign substances. The presence of antigens demonstrates that the infection is currently still active. The antigens stimulate the body to produce antibodies, that are specifically directed against that micro-organism. The antibodies show whether there is a previous or current infection and the stage of the infection.
First, blood is taken from a patient in a tube. The blood solidifies and is centrifuged in the laboratory in order to obtain the serum. With immunochemical methods is then determined whether the antibodies, the applicant was interested in, are present and if so, in what concentration.