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The Yersinia IgG and IgA Antibodies test is designed to detect the plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis.


Primarily carried by rodents and spread to humans via fleas, the disease has been notorious throughout history, due to the unrivaled scale of death and devastation it has brought. Yet, despite the seemingly mythical tales associated with the plague, it is still endemic in some parts of the world. Until June 2007, plague was one of the three epidemic diseases specifically reportable to the World Health Organization.


Depending on lung infection, or sanitary conditions, plague also can be spread in the air, by direct contact, or by contaminated undercooked food or materials. The symptoms of plague depend on the concentrated areas of infection in each person: such as bubonic plague in lymph nodes, septicemic plague in blood vessels, pneumonic plague in lungs, and so on. It is treatable if detected early.


(Plague occurs in different forms, depending on the location of infection.)


Bubonic plague: This form of plague is the most common of all (more than 80% of all cases). It takes its name from the infected lymph nodes called "buboes." Buboes are very painful, red and swollen lymph nodes that develop quickly near the area of the flea bite. If the bite was on the leg, a bubo would probably appear in the groin. If the flea bite was on the arm, buboes might appear in the underarm or in the neck. About 2 to 6 days after the flea bite, a person with bubonic plague develops a high fever, chills, muscle aches, headache and extreme weakness and within another 24 hours, 1 or more buboes appear. With prompt treatment of appropriate antibiotics, over 90% of people will survive. Without proper treatment, the Y. pestis bacteria could spread through the bloodstream and a person could develop septicemic plague.


Septicemic plague: This form of plague is the second most common. It can develop when Y. pestis bacteria spread through the bloodstream and cause a blood infection called septicemia. It can also happen if Y. pestis spreads from a bubo or from the lungs into the bloodstream, or if the Y. pestis bacteria get into the bloodstream after a person has direct contact with the meat or blood of an infected animal. The first symptoms of septicemic plague can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. The person can also develop severe bleeding problems, including sudden bleeding under the skin, scattered bruises, blood in the urine and abnormal bleeding from the mouth, nose and rectum. The bleeding problems can be followed by signs of shock (severe drop in blood pressure, rapid pulse, unconsciousness), kidney failure, severe breathing difficulties and even death. With appropriate treatment, however, 75% to 80% of people survive


Pneumonic plague: This form of plague is currently very rare. It happens when Y. pestisbacteria infect the lungs and cause pneumonia. It can develop when a person breathes in droplets of Y. pestis from an animal or person who has plague infection in the lungs. People who have bubonic or septicemic plague can also develop Y. pestis infection in the lungs. Symptoms include high fever, chills, headaches, chest pain, rapid breathing, severe shortness of breath and cough that might bring up blood. Without proper treatment, the disease can quickly lead to death.


Antibodies test:

After a person is infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes most cases of Lyme disease, their immune system will recognize the infection and react by producing antibodies against the bacterium. This is usually a two-step process. IgM antibodies are the first wave of attack. They appear within 3-4 weeks after initial infection and hit peak concentrations in about 6-8 weeks. IgM antibodies can persist for several months before they are no longer detectable.


The second phase of response is the production of IgG antibodies. They appear 6-8 weeks after infection and hit their peak concentrations at 4-6 months. Once infected, a person’s IgG level may remain detectable for the rest of his/her life. The spirochetes are tissue-loving organisms; therefore, their presence is transient in blood and other body fluids. One of the most important factors in laboratory tests for Lyme disease is timing the collection of the samples. If you obtain the sample too early or the patient doesn’t have a strong enough immune response, you may get a false negative test result.

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