Ehrlichia Chaffeensis (IgG,IgM)

The Ehrlichia Chaffeensis (IgG,IgM) test contains 1 test with 3 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test is a laboratory test that identifies the presence of specific antibodies (IgG and IgM) produced by the body in response to an infection with the Ehrlichia chaffeensis bacteria. This bacteria is responsible for causing human monocytic ehrlichiosis, a tick-borne illness.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why an Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies Test May Be Ordered

A healthcare provider might order the test in the following situations:

  • Presence of Clinical Symptoms: When a patient presents with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, and fatigue, especially after a tick bite or exposure to tick habitats.

  • Epidemiological Context: If the individual resides in or has traveled to areas where the transmitting ticks are known to be endemic.

  • Previous Tick Bite: If a patient recalls a tick bite and subsequently develops symptoms suggestive of ehrlichiosis.

What the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies Test Checks For

This test detects antibodies (IgG and IgM) specific to Ehrlichia chaffeensis. The presence of IgM antibodies usually indicates a recent infection, whereas the presence of IgG antibodies suggests a past infection or exposure to the bacteria.

Other Lab Tests Ordered Alongside Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies Test

When an Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG/IgM test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation of possible tick-borne diseases and related conditions. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential:

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Infections like ehrlichiosis can cause abnormalities in blood counts, such as leukopenia (low white blood cell count) or thrombocytopenia (low platelet count).
  2. Liver Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess liver health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Ehrlichiosis and other tick-borne diseases can sometimes affect liver function, leading to elevated liver enzymes.
  3. C-Reactive Protein (CRP) or Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR):

    • Purpose: To measure markers of inflammation in the body.
    • Why Is It Ordered: These tests can help assess the degree of systemic inflammation, which may accompany infections like ehrlichiosis.
  4. Anaplasma Phagocytophilum IgG/IgM Antibodies:

    • Purpose: To test for antibodies against Anaplasma phagocytophilum, another tick-borne pathogen.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Co-infections with multiple pathogens transmitted by ticks are possible, so testing for related diseases can be important.
  5. Lyme Disease Serology:

    • Purpose: To test for antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium causing Lyme disease.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Lyme disease is a common tick-borne illness, and symptoms can overlap with ehrlichiosis, necessitating a differential diagnosis.
  6. Babesia Microti Antibody Test:

    • Purpose: To detect antibodies against Babesia microti, a parasite causing babesiosis.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Babesiosis is another tick-borne disease that can present with similar symptoms or occur as a co-infection.
  7. Urinalysis:

    • Purpose: To analyze various components of urine.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To check for abnormalities that may be caused by systemic infection, including kidney involvement.

These tests, when ordered alongside an Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG/IgM Antibodies test, provide a comprehensive evaluation of potential tick-borne diseases and their impact on the body. They are crucial for diagnosing the specific type of infection, assessing the extent of disease, and guiding treatment decisions. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s symptoms, exposure history, and geographic location.

Conditions or Diseases that Require an Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies Test

The primary condition associated with the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test is:

  • Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis (HME): A tick-borne illness caused by the Ehrlichia chaffeensis bacteria.

Usage of Results from Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies Test by Health Care Providers

Healthcare providers use the results of the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test to:

  • Diagnosis: Confirm a suspected diagnosis of human monocytic ehrlichiosis.

  • Treatment Guidance: Assist in guiding treatment decisions. If the test is positive and the patient has suggestive symptoms, treatment with specific antibiotics (like doxycycline) might be initiated.

  • Epidemiological Tracking: In regions where tick-borne diseases are monitored, positive tests can be useful for tracking the spread or prevalence of the disease.

In conclusion, the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test is crucial in the diagnostic process for human monocytic ehrlichiosis, helping guide treatment and improve patient outcomes.

Most Common Questions About the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis (IgG,IgM) test:

Purpose and Clinical Indications for the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies Test

Why is the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test ordered?

The Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test is often ordered to determine whether an individual has been exposed to the bacterium Ehrlichia chaffeensis, which causes human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME). The presence of specific IgG or IgM antibodies indicates a current or past infection.

How can the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test aid in diagnosing human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME)?

The test identifies the presence of IgM antibodies, which typically appear early in the course of infection, and IgG antibodies, which may remain detectable for months to years after an infection has resolved. A positive result, especially for IgM antibodies, in a patient showing clinical symptoms consistent with HME, supports a diagnosis of the disease.

Interpretation of Results

What do positive results in the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test indicate?

Positive results indicate the presence of antibodies against Ehrlichia chaffeensis. A positive IgM result suggests a recent or acute infection, while a positive IgG result indicates a past infection.

Is it possible to have a negative Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test but still have the infection?

Yes, it's possible, especially if the test is done too soon after the onset of symptoms. Antibody production takes time, so testing in the early stages of infection may yield negative results even if the individual is infected. If HME is suspected, the test may need to be repeated after some time.

Implications and Medical Management

How can the results of the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test influence treatment decisions?

If the test results indicate a current or recent infection (positive IgM antibodies) and the patient exhibits symptoms of HME, healthcare professionals may prescribe antibiotics like doxycycline. Early treatment can prevent severe complications.

If someone had a positive IgG result but no IgM, do they still require treatment?

A positive IgG result without IgM usually indicates a past infection. If the individual is not exhibiting any symptoms, they typically do not require treatment for HME. However, healthcare providers will make decisions based on the complete clinical picture.

Test Specifics

How does the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test relate to other tests for diagnosing HME?

While the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test identifies the presence of antibodies and thus an immune response to the bacterium, other tests, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), can detect the DNA of the bacterium itself. PCR is particularly useful in the early stages of infection before antibodies have formed.

Why might a doctor order both the Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgG IgM Antibodies test and a PCR test for HME?

Ordering both tests provides a more comprehensive diagnostic picture. The antibody test indicates whether the patient has been exposed to the bacterium, while the PCR test can confirm the presence of the bacterium in the patient's blood. Especially in early stages of the disease or in ambiguous cases, having both tests can aid in accurate diagnosis.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: Ehrlichia Chaffeensis IgGIgM

E.Chaffeensis Ab IgG

E.Chaffeensis Ab IgM


*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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