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Toxoplasmosis Test

How It Feels

The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.

Risks

There is very little chance of problems from having blood drawn from a vein. You may get a small bruise at the site. You can lower your chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes.

In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the blood sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. You can use a warm compress several times a day to treat this.

Ongoing bleeding can be a problem for people with bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood-thinning medicines can make bleeding more likely. If you have bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell the doctor before your blood is drawn.

Results

A toxoplasmosis test is a blood test that checks for antibodies to the Toxoplasma gondiiparasite. The results of the test are usually given in titers. A titer is a measure of how much the blood sample can be diluted with a saltwater solution (saline) before the antibodies can no longer be found. Test results are usually ready in 1 to 3 days.

A titer of 1 to 8 (1:8) means that antibodies can be found when 1 part of the blood sample is diluted by up to 8 parts of a saltwater solution (saline). A larger second number means there are more antibodies in the blood. So a titer of 1 to 128 means there are more toxoplasmosis antibodies in the blood than a titer of 1 to 32.

The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what’s normal. Your lab report should contain the range that your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.

Normal results1
AntibodyTiter

IgM in babies:

Undetectable

IgM in adults:

Less than 1:64

IgG:

Less than 1:1024

Toxoplasmosis antibodies usually form within 2 weeks after being infected. The titer is the highest 1 to 2 months after infection.

  • If high titers of the IgM type of antibody are found, it means the infection is recent. If high titers of the IgG type of antibody are present, it means an infection occurred in the past.
  • Blood samples may be taken over several weeks to see if the number of antibodies is getting higher. This would mean the infection is recent.
  • Low titers that do not get higher usually mean the infection occurred in the past. After you have had toxoplasmosis, you cannot be infected again.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 02, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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