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Coccidioides complement fixation
Alternative namesCoccidioides antibody test
DefinitionCoccidioides complement fixation is a test to determine the presence of antibodies to the fungus coccidioidomycosis by a specific serologic technique.
How the test is performed
Blood is drawn from a vein on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic, and an elastic band is placed around the upper arm to apply pressure and restrict blood flow through the vein. This causes veins below the band to fill with blood.
A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. During the procedure, the band is removed to restore circulation. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
How to prepare for the testThere is no special preparation for the test.
For infants and children:
The preparation you can provide for this test depends on your child's age and experience. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics:
How the test will feelWhen 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 performedThis test is used to detect infection with the fungus coccidioidomycosis, which can cause lung or widespread (disseminated) infection.
Normal ValuesNo coccidioides antibodies are detected.
What abnormal results mean
Abnormal results indicate that coccidioides antibodies are present. This can indicate a current or prior infection. The test may be repeated after several weeks to detect a rise in titer (antibody count), which helps to confirm an active infection. Titers greater than 1:16 usually indicate active infection (that is, a count of 1:32 or higher).
In general, the worse the infection, the higher the titer, except in patients with weakened immune systems.
There can be false positive tests in patients with the fungal disease histoplasmosis, and false negative tests in patients with only solitary lung masses from coccidioidomycosis.
What the risks are
The risks associated with having blood drawn are:
Special considerationsVeins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Update Date: 1/19/2004Daniel Levy, M.D., Ph.D., Infectious Diseases, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT