Serologic testing for the Rubella virus is used to determine the patient's immune status after vaccination or before exposure to the virus. It is usually part of the standard prenatal checkup.
Determination of avidity is a diagnostic method used to differentiate recent (acute) from past infection with Rubella in a patient's serum. Avidity is defined as the binding strength of the antibody (in serum sample) to the corresponding antigen. The low affinity of IgG antibodies in the early stage of infection may be differentiated from the high affinity of antibodies associated with earlier infection. Determination of the avidity of IgG antibodies is an additional analysis in classical serological testing in relation to the state of infection with the Rubella virus.
Rubella virus is the causative agent of rubella disease. This disease is normally a harmless childhood disease, but it can cause very serious embryopathies if an infection occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy.
The Rubella virus is a virus with envelope and single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) and belongs to the Togaviridae family. The Rubella virus has a worldwide distribution and humans are its only natural host. The virus is transmitted by direct contact. The rate of infection in children up to the age of 10 is 50%. In countries with temperate climates, small outbreaks and individual infections can occur.
The Rubella virus initially spreads to the lymphatic organs at the entrance gate, to the area of the nasopharynx, and then develops viremia. About 8 days after the primary infection, the virus appears in the bloodstream and eventually reaches the skin, where the typical rash develops with mild fever. Complications such as encephalitis and persistent arthropathy are rare. Viruses are found in the nasopharyngeal secretions and urine.
In pregnant women infected with the virus, during the course of the virus it reaches the developing fetus through the placenta, where it can cause serious abnormalities or even fetal death, especially if the infection occurs during the first three months of pregnancy. The most common congenital abnormalities are deafness, ocular cataracts, heart abnormalities, microcephaly, and spina bifida. In the intrauterine fetal death due to infection with the Rubella virus, the immediate cause of death is usually a myocardial injury.
Vaccination for the Rubella virus is included in the triple regimen of MMR.
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.