Histoplasma antibody test
Histoplasma complement fixation is a blood test that checks for signs of infection due to a fungus called Histoplasma capsulatum (H. capsulatum). Some people who breathe in particles of this fungus may get an infection called histoplasmosis.
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture
The complement fixation test looks to see if the body has produced antibodies to a certain antigen (a substance that triggers an immune response) -- in this case, the Histoplasma capsulatum fungus. If antibodies are present, they attach to the antigen. This combination activates, or "fixes" complement, and this activation can be measured. That is why the test is called "complement fixation."
The test looks for antibodies in the clear liquid part of the blood (serum). The general term for this method is called serology.
There is no special preparation for the test.
You may feel a prick or stinging sensation when the needle is inserted to draw your blood. Some people may have moderate pain. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Histoplasma complement fixation is one of the most commonly used methods to test for a fungal infection caused by H. capsulatum.
Kauffman CA. Histoplasmosis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 353.
Deepe GS Jr. Histoplasma capsulatum. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 264.
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