RSV antibody test - Overview
Respiratory syncytial virus antibody test; RSV serology
Definition of RSV antibody test:
RSV antibody test is a blood test that measures the levels of antibodies (immunoglobulins) that the body makes after an infection with the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
How the test is performed:
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture.
How to prepare for the test:
There is no special preparation needed.
How the test will feel:
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Why the test is performed:
This test is done to identify someone who has been infected by RSV recently or in the past.
This test detects the virus itself. If the body has produced antibodies against RSV, then either a current or past infection has occurred.
In infants, RSV antibodies that have been passed from mother to baby may also be detected.
- Reviewed last on: 2/19/2011
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Breese HC. Respiratory syncytial virus. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Mandel, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Disease. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 158.
Walsh EE. Respiratory syncytial virus. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 385.
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