Determination of antibodies against diphtheria toxin is used to evaluate the vaccine status against diphtheria and as an adjunct to the investigation of immunodeficiency.
Diphtheria is an acute, contagious, febrile illness caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The disease is typically characterized by a combination of localized inflammation in the upper respiratory tract and the formation of the diphtheria pseudomembrane covering the oropharynx, including the tonsils, pharynx, larynx, and posterior nasal choana. Corynebacterium diphtheriae produces a potent toxin, which is absorbed into the bloodstream and can lead to heart failure and diaphragm paralysis.
Diphtheria can be prevented by inoculation with diphtheria's toxoid, which stimulates the production of antibodies against the toxin. In Greece, as in many other countries, diphtheria's toxoid is administered to children as part of a combined vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DPT).
A patient's immune response to the diphtheria toxoid vaccine can be determined by measuring specific antibodies against diphtheria toxin. The absence of post-vaccination antibody formation may be related to immunodeficiency disorders, whether congenital, acquired, or iatrogenic due to e.g. administration of immunosuppressive drugs.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.