Hepatitis B Titer
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Hepatitis B Titer
Order A Titer
What Is A Titer?A "titer" or "titre" is a technical term that represents a measure of concentration. In reference to humans, the term titer is used to represent how much of a specific type of antibody is circulating in the blood at any given moment.
What Is A Titer Test?There a lot of confusion as to what a titer test is. A titer test is not an injection, shot, or vaccination. Instead, a titer test is the actual blood test that measures the titer level. It is run in a laboratory. Titer tests measure a level of specific antibodies to diseases in your blood.
Okay, but what's an Antibody?An antibody is a component of the immune system. Sometimes, it is known as an immunoglobulin. The immune system uses antibodies as the initial defenders against biological invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Specific antibodies create a lock-and-key fit with components (also called antigens) on the bacteria and viruses that they protect against.
How do antibodies get in my blood?There are a couple of ways to get antibodies in your blood. The first way is through natural exposure to a disease. For example, if you had the chickenpox when you were younger, you might have antibodies to chickenpox. In that case, your result will generally show up as positive. The second way to get antibodies is through vaccination. Vaccines are dead or weakened live forms of the disease that are designed to stimulate your immune system to act as if you actually had the disease. The immune system responds by producing antibodies to protect you.
Why might an animal need a titer tests?As is true in humans, animals also generate antibodies to disease by their immune system after being vaccinated. Titer testing is also done to help track certain types of canine viruses. Also, for people traveling to foreign countries with their pet, a rabies titer is often required.
Why would I get a titer test for my pet instead of a vaccine?There is a lot of controversy regarding vaccinations in pets and the appropriate vaccination schedules. Some people feel that vaccinations are responsible for overstimulating the immune system and causing a variety of medical problems.
How often are titer tests checked?Traditionally, titer tests are checked yearly in animals.
What does a high titer mean?A high titer means that there are a large number of antibodies to a specific disease circulating in the system. A high antibody titer can mean a recent infection to the disease being measured or a high antibody level secondary to prior vaccination.
Does a titer test mean that my pet is immune to a disease?No. Although titer tests do measure the antibody levels to specific diseases, the titer level, in and of itself, does not guarantee immunity to any disease. Specific levels of antibodies are used as cutoffs that are thought to be provide adequate immunity for most animals.
That being said, a titer test does not measure the ability of memory cells, the producers of antibody titers, to produce new titers if they are exposed to a disease. For example, an animal may show a low antibody level at any point in time but still retain the ability to generate an adequate antibody response in a short period of time if necessary.
This information was updated in October 2012 and is subject to change. We provide this information as a service and do not warrant the accuracy of any of this information.