The Wright-Coombs serotype is used as an initial screening test for the diagnosis of brucellosis.
Brucellosis (Maltese fever, Mediterranean fever, Undulant fever) is a systemic disease transmitted by animals to humans and lasts days to years. It is found more frequently in Europe, North Africa, Asia, Mexico and South America. Brucella is a germ that is compulsively parasitized in animals. The method of transmission to humans is through direct contact of body tissues with the fluids, milk and dairy products of infected animals or through breastfeeding from infected mothers to infants. The onset of the disease may be acute or subacute and symptoms may include arthralgia, myalgia, chills, sweating, fever, headache, weakness, pneumonitis and meningitis.
In Wright's serotype reaction, specific Brucella antigens are mixed with the patient's serum and a welding reaction is sought. A positive reaction is followed by successive dilutions of serum and re-testing. The results are expressed as the highest titre indicating welding. Welding at a titre greater than 1:80 indicates the presence of antibodies against Brucella species (B. melitensis, B. abortus, B. suis) and is used in the indirect diagnosis of human brucellosis. Titres from 1:20 to 1:80 are a normal finding for farmers and cattle breeders, pigs, goats or sheep as well as endemic areas, with no clinical manifestations. Titres 1: 160 indicate past or present infection. A fourfold increase in antibody titre within 2 weeks indicates acute infection.
With the addition of antibodies against human globulin, Wright's seroactivity becomes more specific and sensitive to the diagnosis of brucellosis. This seroactive reaction is called Wright-Coombs.
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. 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.
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