Respiratory Syncytial Virus Antibodies
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a member of the pararnyxovirus group, is the major viral cause of severe lower respiratory tract disease in infants but may cause infections in people of any age. RSV infections are most common and produce the most severe disease during the first 6 months of life. Initial infection involves viral replication in epithelial cells of the upper respiratory tract, but in younger children especially, the infection spreads to the bronchi, the bronchioles, and even the parenchyma of the lungs.
In this test, immunoglobulin G (lgG) and IgM class antibodies are quantified using indirect immunofluorescence.
Procedure and posttest care
Sera from patients who have never been infected with RSV have no detectable antibodies to the virus (less than 1:10).
Normal serum is negative for HBsAg.
The qualitative presence of IgM or a fourfold or greater increase in IgG antibodies indicates active RSV infection. Note that, in infants, serologic diagnosis of RSV infections is difficult because of the presence of maternal IgG antibodies. Thus, the presence of IgM antibodies is most significant.
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