The role of immunology in a clinical laboratory is vital. Immunological tests can be used to detect the presence of certain diseases and medical conditions, from allergies to cancer, as well as helping diagnose infections and other illnesses, aiding in fertility testing and monitoring treatments. Immunological laboratory testing measures the number of different types of antibodies in a sample (such as IgG, IgA and IgM).
Immunology tests take many forms—from laboratory tests that measure the amount of bound antibodies or proteins present to rapid tests that provide instant results on paper strips or glass slides. While these tests are invaluable tools for doctors, it’s important for all patients to understand how they work, who may need them and what the results mean.