The Detection of IgG and IgM Antibodies in Blood:
One of the Many Tools for Epidemiologists
Antibodies are compelling proteins that are essential to the immune system and extremely powerful in biotechnology applications; existing as major players in our defence against external agents (viruses, bacteria, etc.), they are also widely used as tools for research, diagnosis and treatments.
The presence of antibodies in the blood in larger than usual numbers often reflects an infection (viral or bacterial) or a specific pathology. In addition to be integral components of regulatory-bodies-approved in vitro diagnostic tests, antibodies can also be used as a biomarker.
Many commercially available tests, known as serological tests, are available to detect antibodies in blood samples. These tests are particularly useful for finding out if a person has been in contact with a specific infectious agent. It can also tell whether the contact is recent or older.