Anthrax serology test; Antibody test for anthrax
Blood is typically drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic). The health care provider wraps an elastic band around the upper arm to apply pressure to the area and make the vein swell with blood.
Next, the health care provider gently inserts a needle into the vein. The blood collects into an airtight vial or tube attached to the needle. The elastic band is removed from your arm.
Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
In infants or young children, a sharp tool called a lancet may be used to puncture the skin and make it bleed. The blood collects into a small glass tube called a pipette, or onto a slide or test strip. A bandage may be placed over the area if there is any bleeding.
The blood sample is sent to a lab where serology tests are done to look for B. anthracis, the bacteria that cause anthrax.
There is no special preparation.
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, you may feel moderate pain, or only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
This test may be performed when anthrax is suspected.
Daly JA. Bioterrorism: Microbiology. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 21st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2006: chap 64.
Lucey D. Anthrax. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2005: chap 324.
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