Toxoplasma Gondii Antibody
Does this test have other names?
Immunoglobulin G antibodies, immunoglobulin M antibodies, Sabin-Feldman dye test,
ELISA, IFA test, agglutination test
What is this test?
This test looks for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection in
T. gondii is a parasite that can infect people when they:
Eat infected meat, especially lamb, venison, or pork, that hasn't been thoroughly
Eat food contaminated by knives, utensils, cutting boards, or other foods that have
come in contact with the infected meat
Drink contaminated water
Swallow the parasite after being exposed to it while cleaning a cat's litter box
(Cats can become infected after eating animals carrying the parasite and shed the
parasite in their feces.)
In healthy adults, infections often don't cause any symptoms. But in people whose
immune system isn't working properly, a T. gondii infection can cause brain damage
and other serious complications. When pregnant women become infected, it can cause
stillbirth, severe birth defects, or complications that can be seen in the child years
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test if your healthcare provider suspects that you have toxoplasmosis.
Most people who become infected with T. gondii aren't aware of it. Symptoms of the
infection vary and include:
Flulike symptoms, such as achiness and swollen lymph nodes
Blurry vision, eye redness, and pain if the disease is affecting the eyes
A small number of infected infants have brain or eye damage at birth.
If you're pregnant, you may also have this test, especially if you may have been exposed
to T. gondii.
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
Test results can show whether you have higher levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) or
immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies—or sometimes immunoglobulins A and E—that are related
to T. gondii infection. IgM antibodies tend to show up faster and subside faster after
an infection. IgG antibodies tend to slowly fall over the next year or two.
The results can tell your healthcare provider whether you have a new, acute infection
or had an infection in the past.
If you have AIDS and toxoplasmosis, you may have a relatively small rise in IgG, and
the results for IgM and other antibodies against the parasite may show up negative.
How is this test done?
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your
What might affect my test results?
Other factors aren't likely to affect your results.
How do I get ready for this test?
Tell your healthcare provider if you have a condition that affects your immune system
or are taking any medicines that may do so. It's best to be sure your 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.