Coccidioides complement fixation

Coccidioides Complement Fixation Test:

Coccidioides complement fixation (CFT) test is a laboratory-based serological test that is used for diagnosing ongoing Coccidioides infections. Coccidioides are a species of fungi that cause a respiratory infection known as valley fever or the San Joaquin Valley fever. CFT is a fast, specific, and very sensitive serological test that is used to detect acute and chronic Coccidioides infections.

Preparation for the Test:

The sample used for the CFT test is typically a serum or plasma sample collected from the patient. The sample should be centrifuged to separate the plasma or serum from the red blood cells. In addition, depending on the laboratory, the sample should also be free of heparin, sodium azide, and any other antigenic substances.

Procedure of the Test:

The first step of the CFT test is to mix the sample with the antigen, typically an extract of Coccidioides immitis, the species of fungus that causes valley fever. The sample and antigen are mixed for 15 minutes, then left to incubate for 30 minutes at 37°C. Then, a complement source (bovine serum, for example) is added to the mixture to form a complex. The sample is then further incubated for 30 minutes at 37°C, and at this point the presence of antibodies to Coccidioides can be determined.

Types of CFT:

The CFT test can be performed in two different ways: classical or quantitative CFT. Classical CFT is a qualitative test that is used to detect the presence of anti-Coccidioides antibodies in the sample. Quantitative CFT is a more specific test that is used to measure the concentration of anti-Coccidioides antibodies in the sample.

Risks of CFT Test:

The CFT test has no known risks associated with it, as it is a simple laboratory-based serological test that does not involve any invasive procedures. However, it is important that the sample is collected from the patient using proper procedures and that the laboratory follows its established protocols in performing the test.

When to Use CFT Test:

  • The CFT test is used whenever a patient is suspected of having a current or past infection with Coccidioides.
  • It is also used to help monitor the effectiveness of treatment for Coccidioides infections.
  • It can also be used to identify patients who are likely to develop Coccidioides infections.

Why Use CFT Test:

CFT is an accurate and reliable serological test that is used to detect and monitor Coccidioides infections. It is a fast and specific test that can help diagnose and manage Coccidioides infections in a timely and effective manner. It is also relatively inexpensive, and is easy to perform in any laboratory that has the appropriate equipment and reagents.