Chlamydia pneumoniae Lab Test

Anti Chlamydia antibody (IgG / IgA)
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What is the Chlamydia pneumoniae Test?

Chlamydia pneumoniae is a bacterium that infects human beings causing respiratory distress in elderly and weak patients. Most cases of infection by Chlamydia pneumoniae are characterised by mild illnesses like sore throats, sinus infections or respiratory tract infections. In some cases, infection by this bacterium could cause lower respiratory infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia and others.

The symptoms of these infections generally include running noses, fatigue, low fevers. Laryngitis or loss of voice, sore throats, coughs or headaches. After being infected, it could take up to 20 days for symptoms to start showing.

This bacterium is transmitted from one person to another directly through the air. For example, if a person is carrying the bacterium sneezes or coughs onto or near another person, that person is likely to be infected by the Chlamydia pneumoniae bacterium.

The Chlamydia pneumoniae test could be done by collecting the patients’ blood and testing it for this bacterium, or a sample of the sputum from the back of the throat could be used and tested.

Why Do I Need Chlamydia pneumoniae Test?

Pneumonia, bronchitis and the other illnesses caused by infection by the Chlamydia pneumoniae bacterium could be potentially harmful and if not treated could lead to long-term illnesses or could be fatal. Testing for this antibody at the soonest could lead to treatment and complete recovery and could prevent the spread of the bacterium.

What Do My Test Results Mean?

The Chlamydia pneumoniae test result may come back positive or negative. If the test result comes back positive, it implies the presence of the antibodies. Therefore, confirming the infection by the bacterium and indicating an illness caused by this infection.

If the test result comes back negative, it implies that antibodies are not present in the blood and could imply that the antibodies are not present but does not confirm the absence of an infection by the bacterium. Other tests must be conducted to diagnose the symptoms being experienced.

How Is Chlamydia pneumoniae Test Done?

As with a regular blood test, a health professional will clean the surface of the skin with an antiseptic and will apply pressure to the upper arm which causes the veins to swell. A needle is then inserted into a vein and the blood is drawn and collected in a syringe. Once the required amount of blood is collected, the needle is removed and the injected area is dressed to stop the bleeding.

This procedure takes only a few minutes. The blood then goes through a series of tests to check for the presence of the antibodies for the infection by the bacterium.

If the sputum is to be collected, the patient is simple asked to take a deep breath and cough up some sputum from the chest and spit it into a container. This sputum then goes through various tests to confirm the presence of the antibodies.

Does Chlamydia pneumoniae Test Pose Any Risk?

When it comes to the blood test, there are some risks associated with this test. Most of the risks are associated with the cleanliness and sterilization of the equipment. If not properly sterilized, infections may be acquired. Another risk may be fainting or feeling lightheaded due to the loss of blood.

In some cases, the blood may also accumulate under the skin and cause lumps or bruises. On the other hand, testing of the sputum sample doesn’t pose any predominant risks.

What Might Affect My Test Results?

As with most blood tests, the variables that may affect your test results are your nutritional diet, lifestyle and any other existing medications you're currently on. Doctors should be informed if you're using any supplements or prescription medications before the test is administered.

When it comes to testing the sputum, when collecting the sample, it should be made sure that the patient's mouth is sterilised, clean and free from any foreign matter. Thus, the patient must rinse their mouth with filtered or sterilised water.

Sample Required

The sample required for this test could be a blood sample or a sample of the sputum. The blood sample is collected from a vein, usually in the arm and is collected in a syringe or vial. This is referred to as venepuncture.

The sputum sample, on the other hand, is collected by making the patient inhale deeply and cough up sputum from the chest into a container.

How do you understand Chlamydia pneumoniae Test result?

If the Chlamydia pneumoniae test result comes back positive, it implies that the presence of the antibodies is confirmed. A positive result also means that the patient may have a lower respiratory illness and a more specific test should be conducted to confirm the illness to be treated.

Possible illnesses include bronchitis, pneumonia and others. On determining the exact illness, treatment must be started to cure the patient of the symptoms and the illness.

If the test result comes back negative, it implies that antibodies are not present in the blood. In some cases, even if the result is negative and the patient may be infected by the bacterium and a corresponding illness may be present. Other tests should be conducted to diagnose the symptoms being experienced.

How Do I Prepare For Chlamydia pneumoniae Test?

When it comes to blood tests, there aren’t many precautions you need to take. You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for up to eight hours before the test is administered. Depending on what medications you take, your doctor will inform you whether or not you need to avoid them for some time before the test so that your results aren’t affected.

Doctors should also be informed of other tests you’ve undergone in the recent past, as some substances- such as radioactive substances- may affect the results of the test.

For the sputum collection, the mouth must be rinsed thoroughly and should be free from any foreign substances.

Understanding results of Chlamydia pneumoniae

Reference RangeInterpretation
< 0.8 RatioNegative

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Conclusion

The Chlamydia pneumoniae test is an important one if the patient shows symptoms of respiratory illness and should be done so that steps can be taken to cure the patient and prevent further spread of infection by this bacterium.

References

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/atypical/cpneumoniae/hcp/diagnostic.html
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3327923/
  3. http://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/atypical/cpneumoniae/hcp/treatment.html
  4. http://jmm.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/jmm/10.1099/jmm.0.020362-0?crawler=true&mimetype=application/pdf
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2446634/
  6. https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/infectious-diseases/disease-information-advice/chlamydophila-pneumoniae-infection
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3327923/
  8. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chlamydia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355355