Miss a day, miss a lot. Subscribe to The Defender's Top News of the Day. It's free.
There are many situations where knowing your immune status against an infectious agent is needed.
For example, if you are accepted into a nursing school, specific vaccinations are generally required and either proof of vaccination or antibody “titers” are necessary. In addition, titers may be necessary to forgo vaccination requirements for other healthcare workers, hospitality workers or for students wishing to attend school.
An antibody titer is a medical laboratory test that determines the amount of antibodies specific to an infectious agent in the bloodstream. The antibody level in the blood is a reflection of the body’s past experience or exposure to an antigen, or something the body doesn’t recognize as “self.”
However, an antibody titer test requires a physician to write a laboratory order, a blood draw from a registered phlebotomist and multiple laboratory tests for each disease where vaccination is required — all of which may not be covered by insurance.
Also, each test may cost as much as $400, and multiple tests may be required to determine the full range of vaccines required.
I’ve known some people who, because of the cost associated with an antibody titer test, chose to be revaccinated when they may not have needed the vaccine.
A new significantly less expensive at-home test kit is available online from ImmunoProfile. The ImmunoProfile test panel simultaneously measures antibody titers for 11 infectious diseases.
I was able to try out the ImmunoProfile test on me and my family. We found the entire process to be very easy and straightforward. The collection procedure is done at home, includes a physician’s prescription and doesn’t require a lab order from a practitioner.
We used the sterile lancets provided in the sampling kit and collected two to five blood drops each on the sample cards provided. Once the blood spots dried and we placed the cards in zip-close bags, we took them to a UPS store and shipped them to the lab for analysis.
Everything was already addressed and ready to ship, streamlining the entire process. All the steps for collecting the blood were clearly and graphically laid out in the instructions insert that came in the kit and in the instruction video.
Within two weeks, we had our results. Our antibody levels had been assessed for 11 different infectious diseases. My results are shown in the figure below.
The green bars indicate adequate levels of protection, and the red bars indicate disease susceptibility, based on antibody titers. In my case, I had humoral (antibody) immunity for nine of the 11 diseases tested and fell in the “red zone” for pertussis, or Whooping cough, and hepatitis A.
The results are consistent with my medical history as I have never contracted hepatitis A, nor have I received the vaccine. I do know that I received a pertussis vaccine in childhood, but that immunity appears to have waned as might be expected.
The test is completed by a CLIA/CAP-approved (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments/College of American Pathologists) laboratory. Antibody levels are measured using proprietary equipment, cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, that has been used globally for more than 20 years by multiple medical diagnostics companies, research facilities and academic institutions.
All information is kept private. ImmunoProfile doesn’t sell your information or test results and all blood samples are destroyed 30 days after testing. ImmunoProfile performs no other tests, genetic or otherwise, on your blood spot samples.
ImmunoProfile provides a secure web portal to obtain results after testing is complete. Test results are completely private and require two-factor authentication to be accessed. Login requires a username and password, plus a passcode sent to your email address.
Only authorized laboratory personnel have access to my information, which consists only of antibody test results.