Immunoglobulin’s, My Immunity?

Am I Immune?

Physicians may check immunoglobulin levels to see if a person has an active infection or is protected from re-infection, immunity. They also use immunoglobulin tests to help diagnose whether or the immune system is working as it should, also know as immunodeficiencies.

Types of Immunoglobulins

  • Immunoglobulin A (IgA):Is found in the linings of the respiratory and digestive system. It is secreted in saliva/spit, tears, and breast milk.

  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG):This is the most common antibody, and makes up 70-80% of the immunoglobulins in the blood and other body fluids. IgG is the building block of immunity and protects against bacterial and viral infections. This immunoglobulin takes time to form after an infection or immunization. (Months)

  • Immunoglobulin M (IgM): This is the first antibody the body produces when it fights a new infection. It is found mainly in blood and lymph fluid.  IgM will increase for several weeks and then decline as IgG production begins.

  • Immunoglobulin E (IgE): This immunoglobulins is normally found in small amounts in the blood. There may be higher amounts when the body overreacts to allergens or is fighting an infection from a parasite.

  • Immunoglobulin D (IgD):This is the least understood antibody, with only small amounts in the blood.

Most tests look for IgM (current or recent infection/exposure) and IgG (established/past infection).

 

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