Diphtheria Antitoxoid Antibody
Does this test have other names?
Anti-diphtheria test, DIPH2, DIPO, DIPE
What is this test?
This test measures the level of diphtheria antibodies in your blood.
Diphtheria is a serious infectious disease caused by C. diphtheriae bacteria. Diphtheria
affects the respiratory tract. It causes symptoms such as:
Diphtheria can be fatal if not treated.
The disease is very rare in the U.S. because of most people are vaccinated against
it. The CDC recommends that all children be vaccinated against diphtheria with a vaccine
that also protects against tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis). Because immunity
can fade over time, the CDC also recommends that teens and adults get a booster shot every
Why do I need this test?
You may have this test to find out whether you have or are at risk for diphtheria.
Although the disease is rarely seen in the U.S. and other developed countries, you
may be at risk if:
You are an adult and haven't had a diphtheria booster shot
You recently traveled to a country where diphtheria is common
You recently moved to the U.S. from a country where diphtheria is widespread
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may also order a culture test for the diphtheria bacteria.
A positive culture test tells your provider that you have diphtheria.
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses
to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you
may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare
Results are given in international units per milliliter (IU/mL). If you have been
vaccinated against diphtheria, your minimum levels of antibodies should be at least
0.01 to 0.1 IU/mL.
If your test results show a level lower than that, you may be at risk for diphtheria.
If you have certain symptoms, you may need additional tests to find out whether you
actually have diphtheria.
How is this test done?
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your
Does this test pose any risks?
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection,
bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight
stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
What might affect my test results?
Other factors aren't likely to affect your results.
How do I get ready for this test?
You don't need to prepare for this test. But be sure your healthcare provider knows
about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes
medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.